Vandalism of tribute tree is sad

All vandalism is a senseless crime – there’s no arguing that. Damaging property that belongs to someone else is nothing but mean and cruel.

It’s even worse when the target of acts of vandalism, whether or not it is the intent, is to something that has been erected to pay tribute to an individual.

Such is the case with the evergreen tree that has been planted near the start of the Lincoln Loop Walking Trail that runs through three of Vandalias city parks.

That tree was planted as a tribute to Rowena Biellier. Though Rowena is known for her daily acts of kindness, it is her service as Mrs. Claus during the Christmas season that warranted the planting of that tree.

During various seasons, such as Christmas, and on special days, such as Valentines Day and Easter, that tree honoring Rowena is decorated appropriately.

I just got word today that the tree decorations are being destroyed. That angers me, and it should anger you, too.

The planting of that tree in honor of Rowena is, indeed, appropriate. Its a worthy present for someone who always has a smile on her face, a good word for others and a special way of making others feel appreciated. I am among the many, many people who have been touched by her thoughtfulness.

And the placement of that tree is also appropriate. The walking trail is a place for friends to gather on a regular basis and enjoy some camaraderie as they improve their health with a stroll through the scenic parks.

Its a common occurrence to see walkers congregating in the area of that tree, which I see is a symbol of what we, as individuals, can do to improve the lives of fellow Vandalia residents.

So, it angers me that someone would vandalize Rowenas tree. And Im hoping that you, too, are upset.

This is one of those cases where it would be difficult for police to catch the vandals, since its impossible for them to be everywhere all of the time. So its up to us, the people who live in that area and regularly drive by the tree to be on the lookout for vandals.

If you, like me, have been the recipient of a card, note or special word from Rowena, Im hoping that youll be a part of the effort to stop this vandalism.

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