Last June, 12 historical plaques donated by military families in memory of loved ones, were stolen from Kimberley’s Veterans Memorial Park.
At the time, Cindy Postnikoff of Military Ames, the veteran support group who built the park, said, “I’m trying to process it. It’s more about the absolute disrespect. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s like robbing a graveyard. It’s very, very personal to us and those who donated the plaques.”
The perpetrators have not been caught thus far.
However, sometimes some good can come out of bad.Postnikoff announced this week that CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Burnaby, would be donating the funds needed to replace the plaques.
“It was so sad to hear about this senseless act of vandalism,” said CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Trevor Davies. “Objects can be replaced, but these memorials were more than objects, they represented the lives sacrificed by Canadians, and the families who lost loved ones as a result.”
Davies reached out to Postnikoff with the offer.
“After the devastation of what happened, the kindness of strangers has gone a long way in restoring our faith in humanity. It is so refreshing to be contacted by someone who truly understands how important it is to recognize the sacrifice and contributions of our fallen and veterans,” Postnikoff said.
“With CUPE’s direct financial support Military Ames has ordered the replacement plaques and the intention is to have the Park restored in time for November 11th,” Postnikoff said. “This will all depend on the manufacturing time of the plaques and the weather.
“We are excited and look forward to welcoming CUPE and the community to our rededication of the plaques and our park where we can thank them in person.”
Military Ames would also like to thank the community for their donations and ongoing support.
“Community donations were incredible, not only to cover costs but also to bolster our moral,” she said. “CUPE has made sure we cross the finish line. Combined, these funds cover replacing the plaques, preparing the boulders and installation.”
CUPE BC represents over 104,000 public employees in British Columbia and is the province’s largest union. CUPE members work in local government, public education, colleges and universities, transportation, community health, emergency services and libraries in all parts of the province, including many communities across the East Kootenay region.