HONOLULU (KHON2) — A family is heartbroken after a memorial for their late mother was destroyed. It had been there for years and the family can’t understand why anyone would do something so disrespectful.
The family put a statue of an angel overlooking the beach at Yokohama Bay after Danuta Szrymska died 11 years ago. Her ashes were also scattered on the beach.
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Two years ago they added a concrete bench because she loved sitting out on that spot and watching the sunset.
“She loved this beach, it’s always been such a peaceful beach. It’s not full of tourists and everybody here is always so nice,” said Marta Szrymska-Andree, Danuta’s daughter.
But when Marta and her son went to visit the memorial on Saturday, the angel was crushed to bits, and the bench was thrown off the ledge and in several pieces.
“We’re just devastated that somebody would do that. I know people here are so respectful when it comes to memorials,” she said.
The family says it took three people to bring the bench in here so it probably took more than one person to push it off the cliff.
Marta said the memorial served as more than just a tribute to her mother. People would stop and drop off token gifts and flowers, and make good use of the bench.
“We saw a lot of pictures on Instagram of the angel or people just sitting there,” she said.
“It must’ve been a good feeling?” KHON2 asked.
“Yeah definitely because it felt like we were doing something good for the community as well, not just for my mom, which I know she would have loved it,” said Marta.
As for the people who did this, the family prefers not to judge them.
“I don’t know what they’re going through,” said Marta. “We have no ill wishes to them. We wish them the best. Who knows maybe they’re hurting in some way.”
“It’s pretty devastating destruction, but like Marta said, we don’t know what people are going through,” said Rod Andree, Danuta’s son-in-law. “They might be mad with God because they lost a loved one.”
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The family said they would like to replace the memorial at some point, not just for them but for the community.