National Fire Dog Monument Vandalized
The National Fire Dog Monument, a symbol of hope and honor for both law enforcement and citizens, was desecrated in a horrendous act of vandalism yesterday.
As you can see in the picture to the left, the monument was spray painted blue, with the senseless criminals writing "K.K.K" on the monument's base.
Fortunately, the monument's sculptor, Austin Weishel, has said that he can repair the monument without further damage,
Arson Investigator Jerry Means (who is featured in my Arson Dogs series), whose former K-9 partner Sadie is featured in the monument, had this to say:
“My faith in humanity has been tested. I am saddened but not broken that "hate" has reached out to our nation's fire service and the incredible working dogs that risk their lives to make it safer for us all. I am comforted in knowing that the same great people who helped us create the National Fire Dog Monument - “Ashes to Answers” - will not fall prey to hate. The support this project has had from ALL of YOU across this great nation will overcome the hate displayed against us and it will make us stronger. It is a good time for our country to realize that there is strength in numbers and the good outnumber the bad."
I am disgusted by this senseless act of vandalism, and hope that the perpetrators are quickly brought to justice. There are plans in place to improve security and lighting to make sure this never happens again. But I think it's most important to remember that one terrible act by a few sad individuals will never take away from the amazing people and dogs that inspired the National Fire Dog Monument.
State Farm's Heather Paul, who was instrumental in the creation of the monument and plays a huge role in the continuing State Farm Arson Dog Training Program, perhaps said it best:
"We will continue to be proud and celebrate all working dogs and their handlers – military, service, law enforcement, and arson dogs. Nobody can take away the fact that these people and their canine partners are heroes. Every single day."
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