Now that Paine's Park has opened to skateboarders, I hope that the vandalism and destruction of the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial will diminish. Tens of thousands of dollars has been spent to repair damage suffered as a result of thoughtless skateboarding, BMX biking, and other nefarious acts.
Understandably, skateboarding did not cause all the damage at the memorial nor do all skateboarders engage in this type of trespass. But what a sad irony that skateboarding, a modern metaphor for freedom, should be the cause for any vandalizing of a memorial honoring those who gave their lives for freedom's sake.
The city's war memorials provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and learning about the extraordinary sacrifice of others. More of us should give thanks for those who died to protect our freedom - to skate, play, and live our lives to the fullest.
Jim Curry, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
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