Veterans Voices of Canada raised its Flags of Remembrance for veterans on Sept. 24, and since then the flags have been repeatedly vandalized.
On the Veterans Voices of Canada Facebook page, the organization reported that more than 15 flags were torn or damaged, poles bent or broken and several Plaques of Honour were either stolen or broken. Several youth have been identified as participating in this vandalism, but Sylvan Laker Janelle Silvey wants to make sure the flags are protected until they come down at the allotted time on Nov. 12. As such, she has been recruiting volunteers to help her monitor the flags overnight.
“It’s just not right for people to do this,” Silvey said of the vandalism, adding that standing watch over the flags is one way she can pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much of themselves.
Silvey said Al Cameron, the founder of Veterans Voices of Canada, had started the watch after the first act of vandalism.
“I thought that we should help,” she explained.
Volunteers are assigned an evening for their watch and Silvey said they can sit in their vehicle or walk around Centennial Park, where the flags are located. Each watch lasts a few hours and Silvey said their goal is deterrence. In addition, she invited community members to drive by the park if they happen to be in the area and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.
“Our community is stronger together,” she said.
If you would like to volunteer, Silvey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the subject line should say flags.