Letter: Please support SB-1690 Preservation of Memorials

Letter: Please support SB-1690 Preservation of Memorials

Jill Pacetti
St. Augustine, FL

Historic City News
Senator Jeff Brandes
Senator Victor Manuel Torres Jr.

I am writing to you today to explain why I feel we need stiffer penalties for those who vandalize a memorial.

All of us have lost a loved one at some time in our lives.  Maybe you haven’t been the parent or family member of a veteran or a first responder whose life was lost while serving.  But I want you to place yourself in the shoes of a family member who has lost a loved one during their service to our country.

Imagine taking the time to honor your ancestor with a memorial — then one day a criminal decides to destroy the memorial by vandalizing it.  Imagine how you would feel if you saw that on the evening news or drove by and discovered it?  Wouldn’t you feel like you lost your loved one all over again?

Just last week in Jacksonville, a mother of a young man who was murdered was on television; crying because a thug went to her son’s grave and videotaped himself urinating on the headstone.  After he urinated on the headstone of her deceased son, he kicked over all the flowers and little adornments that other family members left in his memory. 

As a parent I cried watching this.  I heard that you questioned if vandalism of these memorials should be charged the same as hitting a police officer, Senator Brandes.  What if that memorial was to a first responder?  Would that make a difference?  To me that would be just like hitting that police officer’s family in the gut. 

We have to start holding those accountable who commit crimes.  Please support the bill as it is written or offer suggestions to still provide stiff penalties for those crimes.

Please support SB-1690 Preservation of Memorials