On Saturday evening, May 12 (Mother's Day eve), at approximately 11 p.m., a gang of boys almost managed to uproot the outdoor bulletin board at St. James Lutheran Community Church in Stewart Manor. The church is just across the border of Garden City and we share Chester Ave. with the nearby Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic churches.
Good neighbors, hearing the commotion of the trespassers, telephoned the police. When the police arrived, the gang of boys quickly dispersed. None were apprehended.
I am a member of the Church Council of St. James and I am seriously disturbed that this act of careless vandalism took place. Perhaps the boys were motivated by alcohol, drugs, group pressure, gang or fraternity initiation, prejudice, stupidity, or worst of all hatred which goes against family values which schools, public servants and others apparently have failed to address with emphasis, constant reminder and by example.
As a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and Korea and with Memorial Day almost upon us, these young boys and Americans in general need to be reminded that attacking one institution is an attack on all institutions. Furthermore, one of the basic principles emphasized by our founding fathers was respect under law for person and property.
There were men and women in those wars who served their country honorably, some sacrificed their young lives and others were wounded in body and spirit believing in those basic principles.
May I hope that concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and elected officials- minus lip service, will remind, especially our young men and women, of their responsibilities as citizens of their immediate community and nation. That's what the USA should be all about!
Helmut Frank Ressmeyer