Memorial Day weekend of 2016 did not prove to be a good one with regards to respecting our fallen and deceased members of the military. In scattered spots throughout the country, we read about the desecration of memorials, as well as cemetery headstones.
One particular instance struck too close to home: a historical burial ground in Flat Rock behind Huroc Park was the target of vandals for the second time in the last five years. More alarming is the fact that painstaking restoration of damaged headstones had only been completed two years ago, in a volunteer effort which took many hours of manpower to accomplish.
To even the casual observer, the damage caused is inconceivable with no reason as to why it was done. To a historian like myself, it is even more damaging. The Flat Rock location houses several pioneers, including the Vreeland family remembers, vital settlers from Downriver's start in the 1700s. Their final resting place is one to be contemplated, honored and respected. They as well as their surviving family members do not deserve the heartache and grief that come with this.
What has been done is literally unspeakable and unexplainable. The debate over who or what to put the blame on could rage on forever. But the damage cannot - and must not - continue.
There are many community events and other attractions that people can spend their time enjoying in peace with family, friends and others. Destroying history and peace for the sake of a joyride or thrill is unacceptable.
What will be the outcome? We can only hope that the proper justice will be dispensed to those found guilty of these crimes.