One of the greatest ironies of living in modern America is this new concept that you can own a piece of property, yet not have the freedom to do with it as you please.
Town, county, and even HOA codes and rules can penalize you for any number of ridiculous reasons, from having grass that’s 1/8” too high, to shutters that don’t match exactly, to flying an American flag. It’s a money-making scam if there ever was one.
And now, one Democrat town is threatening to fine a couple $500 daily if they don’t remove a 9/11 memorial.
Leigh Gardella-Wood and her husband live in a small town about 50 miles north of Chicago, Illinois. A few years ago, they purchased the closed down Spring Bluff Elementary School in Winthrop Harbor, IL and retrofitted it to become a home for their family.
Purchase of the home included a 9/11 memorial plaque that was placed on a boulder on the property. The plaque was created in June 2011 by a Girl Scout as part of her Gold Award Project.
Kaska Stratham spent hours raising money for the plaque which reads ‘We Shall Never Forget’ above a dedication to ‘those who serve.’
Upon moving into the home, the Gardella-Wood’s requested the city relocate the boulder to a better place. They submitted their request to the town, and it was subsequently ignored.
As NBC Chicago reported:
“She and her husband agreed and asked the village to move the boulder within the year and put the property back together, which local officials never did.”
What comes as a complete surprise to the family is, even though they asked the city to remove the boulder – and even though the city ignored their request – the city is now threatening to fine them for not getting rid of it.
Bear in mind, the boulder was on city property long before they purchased the home, and the boulder and plaque belongs to the public (hence their reasons for requesting the city remove it).
So for them to be faced with potential fines isn’t just confusing, it’s infuriating as well.
Since the city never removed the boulder, the Woods have since become accustomed to it remaining on their property. In their estimation, the boulder serves a beautiful function.
The Daily Wire reports:
“On Monday, Gardella-Wood said that last week the village board informed her the signage on the memorial was ‘obsolete’ and she had ten days to remove it or else she could be fined as much as $500 per day. She stated, ‘I have never heard of a plaque being an issue. There are people who have plaques in their yard all over the place— it is not gaudy, it is not hurting anybody.’
She added, ‘I think this is needed. We have a lot of people who are veterans. By the village wanting it gone, it hurts. People come here and reflect or to get away.’
Gardella-Wood concluded, ‘I don’t know what to think because I don’t understand what they are thinking. I don’t understand how a community that is so close, that they would find a plaque or memorial obsolete. People worked really hard to have that put there. People died on 9/11. It’s not something we can just forget. It is coming up – how do you forget that?'”
While it seems that the situation could quickly resolve itself (a local VFW has stated interest in removing the boulder so they can have it), stories like this show just how abusive and trivial even small, local governments can be.
Americans must continuously advocate for freedom and liberty, from the local community level to the national stage, because if we don’t, our freedoms could soon evaporate into thin air.