Burnley Poppy cross defaced at Peace Garden

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A PENSIONER’S tribute to victims of terrorism was desecrated within hours of being placed in the Peace Garden.

Mr Ian Morrison placed a cross in the Peace Garden outside Burnley Library just before Armistice Day in memory of what happened 10 years ago in America on 9/11.

“It was to remember the 2,974 people, and their families, who have been affected in the war of terrorism, and our lads who are still dying in Afghanistan – even though they are there as peace keepers,” said Mr Morrison, of Lowerhouse Lane. Like others wishing to pay their respects to those who died in conflicts, 68-year-old Mr Morrison had written on the cross. His simply said New York, the Roman letters 1X and X1 and the words Twin Towers.

“I could not believe what had happened,” he said. “The cross was one of many that had been placed - but it was the only one damaged.

“Someone had deliberately ripped the poppy from the cross. It cannot have been done accidentally, and whoever did it has brought shame on the town.”

Mr Morrison removed his tribute from the poppy field so he could replace the flower. “They are very simply made and the flower is held in tightly with a strong pin. I had a heck of a job to get it out to replace the poppy. It was nothing but vandalism to have deliberately pulled the petals off,” he said.

Mr Morrison was at the Peace Garden for both the Armistice Day silence and the Remembrance Service on Sunday, and is relieved his “repaired” tribute is still in tact. He said: “I don’t think I have ever seen so many people at the memorial wanting to pay their respects; they must have been 15 deep on Sunday. It goes to show there are decent, good people in this town – unlike the so-and-so who caused the damage.”