LETTER: Wilmington Mom Shares Concerning Incident From Last Week’s 8th Grade “Moving Up” Ceremony

Dear Editor,

My elderly parents, myself (a very petite woman) and my 7 year old daughter attended my son’s 8th grade graduation last Thursday at the Wilmington Common hoping to have a pleasant evening.

My 7 year old daughter innocently wanted to take a photo with the Wilmington Memorial where there are pretty flowers surrounding it which she adores and respects. Being a lover of history and having had known many people in the armed services, I saw no harm in taking a photo with her and asked my mother to do so for us. I always have the utmost respect for any memorial.

When, out of nowhere, some random guy walking through who appeared mentally ill, a man in his 40s with sunglasses and a baseball cap, accosted us and asked if we were vets and if we knew how to read the sign. He was very rude and aggressive bullying a 105 lb woman, her young daughter and 2 elderly people and made a scene at an 8th grade graduation which caused many people to turn their heads during this ceremony which was meant to be a happy time.

Behavior like this is totally unacceptable and is one of the reasons the world is the way it is today. Bystanders just stood by and watched in disbelief saying nothing in our defense while myself and my parents were not only scared but both embarrassed and taken by surprise as we’ve never seen anything like that in our lives. The guy continuously yelled for my daughter to get down as my mother nicely said we didn’t know we weren’t supposed to be near it and he finally walked away after several times of unnecessarily repeating himself.

There is no sign or fence stating that people are not allowed near or on this public property and we were doing nothing disrespectful to it at all. In fact, we were honoring it by proudly and innocently by taking a photo with it.

A police officer should have been there to monitor this area during a children’s event. We recently went to DC in April and took photos with several memorials and monuments and no one said a word. In today’s world where even our innocent kids are in danger in schools, it would be wise for police to be both in back and front of the common during a children’s events as the police were only at the front area and saw and heard nothing.

Once the guy finally passed by there were also several other little girls doing the exact same thing and no one said a word. Unfortunately, we were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

This guy could have been carrying a gun and things could have been much worse as my father also made a good point to mention hence why he did not want to say anything to anger this unstable man further. In today’s world you would think our police would take things like this more seriously as this should not have been allowed.

A family minding their business should be able to attend their child’s graduation without being rudely accosted by some stranger who doesn’t know them. Hopefully, the police will take incidents and events like this more seriously in the future as something like this should not be taken lightly.

Jennifer Joan Fay

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