Senate approves Richardville war memorial protection legislation
LANSING - The Senate today approved legislation that will increase penalties for the destruction or mutilation of a war memorial or monument, said Sen. Randy Richardville, sponsor of the measure.
"War monuments and memorials are created to honor the actions of our country's courageous men and women who serve or have served in the military," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "Families and friends of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country seek comfort from these monuments."
Senate Bill 954 increases the penalties for destroying war memorials or monuments. If convicted, a vandal could face imprisonment, a fine, and community service. While the number of service hours would be dependant upon the amount of damage, the service would have to be performed in a veterans home or for a veterans service organization.
Richardville sponsored the legislation after Monroe County's "War on Terror" memorial was vandalized. A mother whose son fought in that war discovered the damage when she visited the memorial. She contacted the local police, only to discover that the current punishment to vandals is a slap on the wrist.
"It's difficult to imagine why anyone would purposely destroy monuments that honor those who have fought to defend our nation," Richardville said. "The legislation, if signed into law, will serve as a deterrent to anyone who tries to dishonor the memories of our nation's brave soldiers. The community service penalty will allow individuals who commit this despicable act to meet, firsthand, the very men and women they have dishonored."
The bill will now go to the House for consideration.
Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2008
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