Respect for others is vandalism cure
August 15, 2001 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL)
Last Friday, the clasped-hands statue honoring the late Jim Wehrli was returned to its rightful place on Jefferson Avenue.
The statue, which is now part of Century Walk, had been stolen but was recovered and four young men face criminal charges in connection with its theft.
Bettye Wehrli, widow of the community and business leader, attended the ceremony at which the sculpture was reinstalled on its pedestal and had this to say about the return of the sculpture and about vandalism in Naperville:
"Everyone in town that cared about Jim and cared about our downtown is delighted that it has been returned and will be reinstalled properly so that it won't happen again.
I hope this will translate into other people honoring other things that have been put up to beautify our downtown and for people to be aware that vandalism hurts everyone."
Unfortunately, the "other things" that have been put up to beautify our city, in particular the United Way's baby giraffes, have been taking quite a beating at the hands of vandals.
So far three have had their heads knocked off, the latest being the giraffe in front of the Oliver-Hoffmann Corp. office on Olesen Drive, and numerous others have sustained damage as well.
It's a particular shame that these exquisitely decorated creatures, which have given so much pleasure to young and old alike, have been the subject of such viciously inflicted damage.
Vandalism is a serious crime in Naperville with expensive consequences.
As has been pointed out numerous times in the news columns and on the editorial page of this newspaper, vandalism has repeatedly scarred the Riverwalk.
Throughout town, vandals destroy mailboxes, "key" automobiles and perform other malevolent acts.
Unfortunately, vandals are rarely apprehended unless police or concerned citizens are fortunate enough to catch them in the act or if later someone turns them in.
Vandalism is a problem that can best be cured at home, before it is started, by parents who teach their youngsters values and respect -- respect for themselves and for others.
Parents who don't emphasize values, who don't discipline their kids and who don't pound into their heads the importance of respect for the property of others are breeding tomorrow's vandals.