Vandals show ‘no respect’

THERE are fears attacks on war cemeteries and memorials could increase, with Anzac Day just around the corner.The World War II Sandakan memorial at the Victory Memorial Gardens was subjected to a graffiti attack over the weekend.Vandals scribbled all over it with a texta, writing expletives about the police and the brutality of war.On Tuesday, it was Albury’s turn to feel the devastation experienced by Wagga in November.It was discovered that eight headstones belonging to fallen soldiers at the Albury War Cemetery were ruined – kicked over, broken and damaged beyond any hope of repair.They deserve so much more but the soldiers will have to be given temporary crosses as arrangements are made to create new headstones.While Albury is in mourning, there was some relief given to Wagga yesterday.Ben Sciberras and Corey Wiegold from the Office of Australian War Graves in Sydney were at the Kooringal Road cemetery to replace the war graves desecrated in November.In all, 12 headstones were violated and while seven were able to be fixed, five had to be replaced.The project cost $7500 which is less than the $10,000 reward still on offer for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.President of the Wagga RSL sub-branch, Kevin Kerr, says he can fully understand and sympathise with what the Albury community is going through.“We are just as disgusted. Of course, the Wagga incident was closer to home but this just isn’t on. The dead can’t defend themselves. There is no respect for the dead, no respect for the living – you have to question what goes on in their heads,” Mr Kerr said. “It’s just a darn shame, that’s for sure. The reward is still on offer. We’d still like to get the scumbags who did it.”

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