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Community Fighting Back After Children's Memorial Vandalized
SPRINGFIELD -- A community is fighting back against vandals.
The children's memorial in Springfield was vandalized twice in less than a week. It all started when teens trespassed onto private property where the memorial sits and stole the pump to the fish pond.
Several fish died from the lack of oxygen, but now, some community members refuse to let that happen again.
The memorial is a peaceful place for families to sit and reflect on the lives of their loved ones, but the vandalism has disrupted that peace.
"It was tragedy, shameful," said Charles Malone.
Malone and Judy Johnson said they were disgusted that several teens trespassed and stole from the memorial's grounds.
"They wouldn't like it if one of their loved ones was being honored and everything and someone destroyed that property," said Judy Johnson. "It's ridiculous that people don't respect other people's property, and that's wrong."
Memorial organizations already had installed video cameras to capture the vandals in action. And now they have two volunteers who come out to make sure the vandals don't come back.
"I asked if we can volunteer our time down here to keep an eye out and we've been here ever since," said Malone.
The couple have no ties to the names on this wall, but said they felt compelled to stop the vandals.
"If they're going to tear it up once they're gonna try and do it again if there ain't someone here to take care of it," said Johnson.
Their help is exactly what the memorial's owner was praying for.
"At least they're watching the place," said Vernon Donnelly.
"They shouldn't be disrespected like that or tearing something down that they're trying to make beautiful and memorable for the children," said Johnson.
The owner of the memorial is now offering a $500 reward to anyone who has information leading to the arrest of the teens in the surveillance video.
You can also help keep the memorial going by donating. To do so, click here.
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