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MP decries desecration of national monuments

Frank Caputo “watched with horror” when protestors desecrated the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier
A statue of Terry Fox is decorated with a Canadian flag, protest sign and hat as protesters participating in a cross-country truck convoy protesting measures taken by authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 and vaccine mandates gather on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. Some protesters jumped on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and others fastened an inverted Canadian flag to a statue of Terry Fox as they decried vaccine mandates in the nation’s capital on Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Frank Caputo, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, decried the actions last week of protesters who desecrated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Terry Fox statue.

Caputo told the House of Commons that he watched “with horror” Saturday as “a very few protesters disrespected and desecrated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” in Ottawa.

Canadian Press reported that protesters had jumped on the tomb and placed an inverted Canadian flag on the Terry Fox statue.

It also noted a video posted on Twitter by Steven Thornton, director general at the Department of National Defence, showed people pumping their arms and chanting “Freedom” at the National War Memorial, including one person apparently standing atop the tomb.

“I condemn these actions unequivocally. The people who did this missed a clear point. The Unknown Soldier and all those who served for this country, served so that we could have the very freedoms we enjoy today,” Caputo said.

“Like the right to peaceful assembly and the right to free speech. That is why the use of Nazi and other racialized symbolism is so repugnant.

“Our soldiers fought against those things, both literally and metaphorically, so that we Canadians could be free. And that freedom was abused by the actions of a few.”

Caputo said he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Monday to “not just remember, not just to say thank you, but to beg forgiveness for any time that we as Canadians have forgotten that freedom isn’t free.”

He thanked those who had laid flowers at the Tomb and the Terry Fox statue but said for those “who desecrated sacred places this weekend, shame on you.”

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