Desecrating a memorial

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Beyond belief.

Frankly, we were at a loss for words when we heard last weekend the memorial to 9-year-old Krystal Steadman on Highway 50 west of Carson City had been vandalized again.

It was the third mishap for the memorial, which started as an impromptu gesture by people deeply saddened by the tragic murder of the South Lake Tahoe girl.

The first time, many of the mementos were accidentally tossed away when highway crews, worried it was in the path of snowplows, decided it should be moved farther from the road. Then, shortly after a more permanent memorial was erected in November 2000, someone stole it.

At the time, we wrote: "How unthinking. How callous. If the murder of Krystal Steadman was a shock to this community, thrusting savagely upon us the fact that monsters do live among us, then the theft of a simple cross in her memory just makes us sad."

This time, we're simply outraged. Someone tried to take a chain saw to the cross, which sits just off the highway. They weren't successful, thanks to the efforts of volunteers who had done their best to build a cross so substantial it couldn't be wrecked.

From now on, there should be two reasons for anyone driving the Spooner Summit road to glance over at the memorial: First, to reflect on the death of an innocent girl. Second, to make sure some vandal isn't trying to desecrate it.


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