Chatham-Kent council approves $200K for updates to veterans’ memorials after vandalism
Chatham-Kent council has approved $200,000 to make repairs and upgrades to several veteran memorials across the municipality, including the cenotaph in downtown Chatham.
Coun. Alysson Storey said there was a lot of feedback from concerned citizens regarding security near the cenotaph following recent vandalism that saw swastikas spray-painted on it.
“These are sacred spaces and we have to treat them as such,” Storey said. “They honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. For example our World War Two veterans are in their nineties now. The need for these as memorials to help us remember those sacrifices is as important as it’s ever been.”
Storey said council was also told security cameras could be installed soon.
“I’m glad we’re going to be putting some resources towards enhanced security here,” Storey said.
The Ward 6 councillor explained there are a few different phases to improving the overall security at the cenotaph, noting there is a federal funding program that the municipality can access for help.
Storey also said local business, Honey Electric, has offered to help subsidize some of the work to improve the downtown location.
“We always have really large crowds for Remembrance Day ceremonies and events that honour different battles and different world wars, so we are a community that takes this very seriously, so I am not surprised with the outcry when the graffiti, that swastika was painted on this memorial,” Storey said. “That’s just not acceptable to this community and we need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”
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