Beautiful Vandalism

“We may have lost you but your spirits will live on forever in our hearts.”

“You call this vandalism?” He screamed, an expression of pain and rage in his eyes as the boys’ friend looked from the floor to us.

“No,” I said quietly, as if I were trying to turn his volume down as well.

I never met them, knew nothing of them, and yet I still could feel the sadness from the loss as I listened to the words of rage spill out of his mouth. The candles that we had found, which were still lit, Tuesday morning, were now a melted mess, tossed aside to one corner. The messages from grieving friends and family, most written in permanent marker, others in correction fluid, on the surface of the gym floor had been erased as if nothing had happened to the four young boys. As if everything was okay and normal again. As if the four would be back there, to join their small circle of skaters. As if it were another afternoon in the Community Park.

I’ll write nothing more than that, out of respect. I believe the pictures are enough to tell the story. But here’s a question for you, reader. I don’t want you to exactly answer it here, just think about it.

Would you have erased the things they wrote in memory of their loved ones, even if it would be considered “vandalism”?

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