Organizers of a Remembrance Day display in Kelowna that was vandalized this week aren’t letting the damage overwhelm the bigger picture.
The Field of Crosses memorial display in City Park honours Kelowna military members killed while serving Canada in both World Wars, the Korean and Afghanistan wars and peace-keeping missions.
Yet this week, organizers say around 100 Canadian flags attached to crosses in the display were either torn or damaged during the early hours of Nov. 5.
Read more: No Stone Left Alone honours Canada’s fallen
“This is so disrespectful to the memory of those who have fallen,” Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers said in a social media post.
Gordy Charles of the Rotary Club of Kelowna said the damage has been repaired, but noted that it takes a large amount of work to create the display.
“It was a nasty act, but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture,” said Charles, adding members of the Rotary Club, Legion and Military Museum annually combine their efforts to create the display.
“It was extreme disappointment, the fact that people were being disrespectful. We don’t know if it was one person, we don’t know who it was … but the bottom line they did something that wasn’t appreciated at all.”
Charles said this was the display’s third year.
“We feel that this is one small way we can say thank you for your sacrifice,” said Charles.
“With the main (Remembrance Day ceremony in Kelowna) being cancelled, we still hope people will come down, show their respects and enjoy our presentation,” said Charles.
Carol Eamer, display coordinator with the Rotary Club, said “everything’s back to normal, and we welcome everybody to come down, take some time (to visit).”
With the coronavirus pandemic still raging around the word, Eamer said the display is a great way for “people to pay their respects to the fallen and still be physically distanced.”
If you have any information regarding this incident, you are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477.