Monday, December 25, 2006
Ithaca Vandals Destroy Crosses for Christmas

ITHACA--A long running private Christmas light display was vandalized in the days before Christmas, with the perpetrators singling out the crosses.

According to the Ithaca Journal, "vandals cut wires supplying electricity to a large merry Christmas sign and three large crosses that stand 12- to 15-feet tall" on the property of Ithaca resident Bill Lower.

Jay Gartlein, who helps Lower put up the decorations, said he found some of the vandals' targets curious.

Â?They bypassed other decorations and went out of their way to wreck the crosses,Â? he said.

The Lower property has 300,000 to 400,000 lights on it, most of which were not vandalized, the article notes.

Lower suspects that the vandals are adults, because the attacks were performed in a manner that indicated they were familiar with electricity.

"[T]hey cut the cords where we plug them in and in several locations along the cords," he said. Â?They didn't want us to be able to fix them because of the way they made the cuts."

Â?There's no doubt in my mind that it was an attack on Christmas,"? he told the paper.

The attack on Christmas is the second time this year that Ithaca vandals have targeted a local monument in the days before a related holiday. The night before Veterans' Day, vandals defaced the local War Memorial, leading some residents to question the patriotism of their neighbors in this largely anti-war, liberal, community.

It remains to be seen whether this latest incident will similarly call into question the liberal community's tolerance for traditional religion.

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