Letter: Vandalism of statue sends larger message

To the editor,

Reflecting on the vandalism done to my family’s personal property, I think that the act itself has a greater message, not only for the people of Beacon Falls, but for our country as a whole. Defacing people’s property is disgraceful, but to couple that with my sister’s post election loss is even more troubling.

If whoever did this was trying to send some sort of partisan message, let me explain what message you’ve sent: You didn’t only deface a family heirloom; you denigrated the service of an individual to the community. Susan Cable, as well as the entire Betkoski family, have and will continue to selflessly give to the town of Beacon Falls, because we love our community. My sister served as first selectman with honor and distinction for over 12 years, always putting our community first before her own personal interests. She served this town as a full-time manager, always open to her public, whether they agreed or disagreed with her.

It’s sad to think that in today’s world, many will undoubtedly pass this off as a prank or minor act. On the contrary — it’s a hate crime, an act of vandalism, and destruction of property. The message we should all receive from this act is that it was wrong, unwarranted and juvenile, at best.

There’s a growing sentiment in our country that seems to condone, even commend, people expressing themselves with violence and hatred. “People are angry,” we hear said time and again. At times, anger may be warranted, but it must always be contained in civility.

Whoever did this is not funny, prophetic, or civil. Furthermore, if personal attacks are what people seeking public office must face, more and more citizens that embody true American values and spirit will stay on the sidelines while our government grows more violent with elected officials that condone hateful acts and use of divisive rhetoric. Hopefully this is not the “newest resident” to come to our town.

On behalf of my sister Susan, and my entire family, I thank the good people of the town of Beacon Falls for enriching us with your friendship, but most importantly by your sharing in our love for our town — a town we think deserves the very best.

Jack Betkoski

Beacon Falls