1 wish to thank the wonderful citizens who reported the damage to the property at the Wilkes Heritage Museum in downtown Wilkesboro over the weekend. The outpouring of support from our community is truly amazing.

The Wilkesboro Police Department is doing an excellent job trying to find the vandals responsible. When apprehended, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Wilkes County is made up of a diverse population of varying nationalities and religious beliefs. One thing that binds us all together is the pride we have in where we live and the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices that men like Col. Benjamin Cleveland made during the American Revolution. He led the Wilkes militia to the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina in 1780, a turning point in the war for independence. Without these heroic actions, this country and democracy would have never flourished. When the Col. Benjamin Cleveland statue was attacked, so were the freedoms of this nation.

The person or persons responsible for this heinous crime know nothing of their own history. They must be full of hate and I urge them to seek help. To write the word “genocide” on the statue is a threat to all of our citizens. To come in under the cover of darkness and attack a symbol of this nature is a true sign of a coward.

If anyone has any information regarding the person or persons who committed this act of villainy, please contact the Wilkesboro Police Department and bring justice for all of Wilkes County.

GEORGE A. CHILDERS,

Wilkes Heritage Museum board chairman,

Wilkesboro, N.C.

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