Memorial Day Serves as Time to Remember, Thank Those Who Served Our Country

May 30, 2012

Sen. Guglielmo applauds bill to punish those who dishonor Veterans memorials
Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) applauded the final passage of legislation that increases penalties for those who vandalize, possess, war and veterans’ memorials.

“These monuments were built in recognition of service to our country. Many of the men and women, whose names are etched in stone paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “To steal or vandalize these monuments is cruel. This law will discourage this kind of behavior.”

Stafford War Monument

Public Act No. 12-38, An Act Concerning Desecration of War, or Veterans’ Memorials, imposes harsher penalties on those who interfere with or vandalize war or veterans’ memorials or monuments.

The bill also increases penalties for unlawful possession, purchase or sale of a war or veterans’ memorial or monument. Both of these offenses become class D felonies and carry a fine of $5,000.

During November and December 2011, towns throughout the center of the state suffered a series of thefts of war and veterans’ memorials. It has been reported that the thefts were likely tied to the value of the bronze as scrap metal.

“Over the past decade, Connecticut has lost nearly 70 service members in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, joining the countless number of heroes who lost their lives heroically defending our nation and protecting the freedoms we hold dear,” Governor Malloy said. “Let this new law serve as a reminder and a deterrent for those who don’t understand the true value of what these memorials mean for our country.”

The bill was initially introduced by the Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as Senate Bill 198, which passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It was signed into law by Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Monday, May 14th.