Sackville legion president ‘disgusted’ by vandalism in Memorial Park

Doreen Richards, President of Branch 26 of the Royal Canadian Legion standing next to the painted-over Ferret armoured military vehicle

The Sackville detachment of the RCMP is trying to find out who spray painted lewd images of penises on both sides and the top of an armoured military vehicle last weekend in the town’s Memorial Park.

Alf Walker, first vice-president of the Sackville branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, reported the vandalism to the RCMP about 11 o’clock Saturday morning and a town crew was soon dispatched to paint over it.

Legion President Doreen Richards says she’s disgusted that someone would commit such an act.

“I was pretty upset about it,” she adds. “People should have more respect for anybody’s property, let alone the veterans’.”

Richards, who has served as president of the Sackville legion since 2012, firmly rejects any suggestion that putting military equipment in Memorial Park glorifies war.

“It’s history,” she says. “Our fathers, grandfathers, uncles all fought for us and we should respect that.”

She suggests that the military exhibits in the park are useful for teaching younger people about the sacrifices made in war by previous generations.

Legion supports Cougar donation

Richards says the legion strongly supports displaying an armoured vehicle known as a Cougar in the park.

“We’re kind of excited that it’s coming,” she says, adding that the Cougar was a military service vehicle useful for rescuing people from floods and fires.

In February, town council voted to accept a Cougar as a donation from the 8th Canadian Hussars, a regiment that was closely associated with Sackville from 1848 until 1997.

After an outcry from people opposed to installing the Cougar in Memorial Park, the mayor and councillors agreed to hear presentations on the issue at their next meeting on July 2nd.

Richards says the legion will be making a presentation of its own.

“I’m going to fight to get this put in the park,” she promises. “From what I’ve heard around town and different places, everybody is for it. There’s just a handful of people that don’t want it,” she says.

“I think it’s a great thing.”

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5 Responses to Sackville legion president ‘disgusted’ by vandalism in Memorial Park

  1. Rima Azar says:

    Sadly, I have predicted this (as I shared my thought with Louis a couple of days ago) :(.
    We can see the trend across the country (it has happened in Halifax lately).

    Someone seems to be pushing hard to let our town say: For the sake of peace, let’s change our mind about the donation… or let’s even remove the older vehicle. Worse, they may be even trying to push our army to decide to take back its gift. This is pure intimidation.

    Whomever did this, does/do the person(s) also want us to change the name of our Sackville (Memorial) hospital? To give back our Canadian citizens? Not to celebrate on July First? Or the next Remembrance Day? What is the purpose of all this?

  2. Louis says:

    Somehow, I’m totally not surprised at this turn of events.

    The timing is so… perfect.

    Now, the reality is, such actions are usually the work of one or two vandalistic individuals, acting alone, and are not representative of a community in general.

    But let’s look back at a similar event that happened in Sackville: the Snow Swastika. In short, someone drew a swastika in the snow at Mount A back in 2017.

    It became *national* news:

    A Mount A Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Tasia Alexopoulos, was paraphrased in Cumberland News as saying: ‘She said with an increase in neo-Nazi groups worldwide and a rise in racist vigilante, the political climate in the United States over the past year has also added to the troubles. With President Donald Trump spending the last year during the presidential race “courting” some of these racist groups and saying “vile” things against minorities, Alexopoulos said many people around the world who have similar views are becoming emboldened to take action as well.”‘ and ‘When you make those types of statements, you empower those people.’

    Phil Handrahan, CAO of Sackville, was quoted saying that the town was “extremely disappointed to hear about the incident on the weekend.”

    Now, the last time I checked, making drawings in snow, however distasteful they may be, isn’t a crime.

    Spray painting a monument is.

    I will thus await Mount A academics – or their municipal equivalents – making bold statements linking this graffiti to a rise in leftist vigilante, blaming it on the courting of left-extremists by Sackville municipal politicians and – while we’re at it – pointing the finger at PM Justin Trudeau for saying that we engage in genocide. Because, after all, “When you make those types of statements, you empower those people.”

    I trust that Phil Handrahan will also issue a statement, and that RCMP will also get involved.

    Suggested phrases: “This doesn’t represent our community.” and “This goes against our values.” I’m waiting.


    I might as well use the opportunity to say what I really think. This whole thing isn’t about having an extra tank in the park. That’s the surface manifestation. Personally, I don’t care about an extra tank in the park – or not. But I’ll come out in favour of having the extra tank, because of who is against it, and why. What this is really about is a continuation of last fall’s attempt to devalue
    Rememberance Day, and to devalue the sacrifices made by those who stopped the nazis, among others. It’s about devaluing us as a culture and as a society. If it doesn’t get stopped, it won’t end well.

    It’s a lot more dangerous than a swastika in the snow.

  3. Rima Azar says:

    I join my voice to yours Louis to STRONGLY condemn this vandalism at the Memorial Park.

    I also think that you put your finger on a serious point here.

    As I wrote in a reply on the Warktimes once, I do not agree with Mr. Trudeau’s ill-advised (imprudent?) endorsement of the word “genocide” about the tragedy of our Native women and girls. I also wrote that “these women could have been my sisters, my daughters, or my cousins… I can only imagine one drop of the ocean of sorrow of their parents…”. However, I would say that most of these victims were likely killed by men they knew well, perhaps from their own communities (domestic violence?).The tragedy is likely a long-term consequence of the “culture genocide” ☹ BUT, clearly in my mind, this is not a genocide; despite any (unacceptable!) indifference, racism, or inaction by police forces or policy makers (due to a self-paralyzing political correctness).

    Our Prime Minister’s words came out of the mouth of Canada’s leader. His words have weight, unlike what people say to each other after a drink at the Ducky’s or on twitter (even without drinks). As Canada’s Prime Minister, Mr. Trudeau’s words have historic implications. The least for him, or anyone in his shoes, would be to pause to reflect, before speeches. Why? Because there would be national and international consequences (UN investigations, etc.). In the meantime, what have we done or what will we concretely undertake to stop this tragedy, preventing other losses? Will we follow-up on the report’s recommendations or throw it in a drawer?

    This story, along with others culminating in recent interference in Québec affairs (a classic), are the icing on the cake of many political “mistakes”, according to me. I say whilst seing that almost all the other federal leaders of parties also interfered, without any understanding or respect of “la Belle Province” to which I say “Bonne Saint-Jean” on this June, 24th 😊.

    I wrote my comment and I am someone who has voted for Mr. Trudeau’s party most (if not all) of my life. Regardless of any forthcoming elections in October, I still see our PM’s humanity, as a father, son, and as a politician. I salute this humanity. However, in my humble and non-expert citizen opinion, i would add that t takes more than humanity to govern a country.

    In 20-30 years from now, I hope we will still have a country, with a spine in addition our big Canadian heart.

    This being said, to the Legion President, Doreen Richards, I express my solidarity!

  4. So lazy to use spray paint.. such a lack of imagination .. and someone spray painted a United Nations logo on the little vehicle years ago too .. gross .. I remember when someone placed a shopping cart on top of the tank – I got a photo of that – made me laugh .. its been a center piece in the park that goes over the top with war bits and bats .. most people have had enough of the virtue signally.. war kills .. war is not good for our human race .. but the really offensive part of the park is the UN flag and NATO flag .. I’d like those removed.

    • Rima Azar says:

      As far as I am concerned, there is ONE flag that means the world to me: Our beautiful Canadian flag (of course, I am also moved when I “bump into” a Lebanese flag :)).

      Here is a picture that I would like to share with my fellow Sackville citizens from the nearby Amherst, Nova Scotia. I took it this morning:

      It is refreshing to see a community that knows how to honour its veterans.

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