Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vandals raid Plimoth Plantation

According to news reports, sometime during the night of Friday August 1, vandals broke into several of the houses on the property of Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass. and stole a number of pelts, some tools and some replica armor. They also broke china, tore up plantings and burned a book. Employees arriving for work Saturday morning discovered the vandalism. No estimate for the cost of replacing/repairing the damage was given in the news reports.

Every news report I read and the one report that I heard on the radio referred to the perpetrators of these crimes as "vandals". A term not much used anymore, except perhaps by the media, it has a couple definitions. The first definition is that of someone who "willfully or maliciously defaces or destroys public or private property". That certainly applies here.

The second definition applies to an east German tribe of the 5th century A.D. They are best known to history for the sacking of Rome in the year 455. Rome was no longer the great center of empire that it had been before, but this was still viewed as a tragic event because of the culture and civilization that had once thrived there.

Vandalism of public and private property is a common problem all over the country. It has perhaps become even more of a problem over the last three decades. The destruction caused by vandals, who serve to gain little or no monetary profit from their efforts, is usually thought to be the work of teenagers.

Perhaps this is due to boredom or excessive drinking or maybe peer pressure. It may very well be that those responsible for the trespass, theft and destruction at Plimoth Plantation will never be caught. If caught, they may receive little or no punishment. One can only hope that they don't do it again.

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