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Vandals, thieves who desecrate memorials have no shame

Memorial Day weekend is a week away.

As families gather to remember the men and women who died while serving their country and place flags on their graves, so too will flowers decorate the graves of deceased relatives and friends.

It is a day of remembrance and honor.

And in the New Mexico tradition of placing flowers and mementos where loved ones have met untimely fates in accidents, roadside shrines, or descansos, will be freshened.

The memory of David Anderson, who was struck and killed in 2010 while riding on a bike path along Paseo del Norte near the Rio Grande Boulevard overpass will be remembered with the dedication of a new “ghost bike.” Unknown vandals had stripped the previous ghost bike of its seat, handlebars and frame. The memorial may have been vandalized previously, as well. The new memorial was erected by the Duke City Wheelmen Foundation.

Anderson died after a motorist lost control of her car on Paseo del Norte, crossed several lanes and hit him. The driver, Miranda Pacheco, was convicted last year of careless driving and sentenced to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine in Anderson’s death.

The vandalism adds insult to injury, especially for Anderson’s family.

It’s utterly unconscionable that some people think nothing of destroying or stealing memorials like ghost bikes and descansos, created and tended to keep alive the memories of good people like David Anderson and others. Clearly the vandals and thieves have no shame.

It is thanks to the bicycling community and the Duke City Wheelmen that ghost bikes can serve as reminders to ride and drive carefully with the safety of others in mind.

The new ghost bike will tell all who pass that way that a good life has not been forgotten

So, while families picnic in parks and enjoy backyard barbecues, they should take a moment or two to honor those who are gone but who have left a legacy of service and love.