Despicable raid targeted what many of us hold dear

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Any act of theft represents a despicable and cowardly crime – but the raid on Southsea’s D-Day Museum strikes us as a particularly nasty example of thuggery.

There’s no mistaking what this building represents or what it must mean to those veterans of the Second World War still alive to remind us of the sacrifice they and their fellow servicemen and women made.

So we’re not surprised to hear 87-year-old Frank Rosier use a word as strong as ‘sacrilege’ to describe how it feels about what has happened. In light of what the museum commemorates, that’s exactly what this break-in represents and you don’t need to be a war veteran, or know someone who is, to feel that way.

We’re sure all right-thinking members of society will share our sense of outrage and sadness.

Many of us are already wearing a poppy on our lapel with pride and plenty of people will pay their respects to the fallen at Remembrance Sunday services across the area next month. We must never forget the brave actions of those who fought to keep us safe. Remembering them is the only way we have of thanking them for what they did for us.

The D-Day landings were a pivotal moment in this country’s history. The events that unfolded on June 6, 1944, proved to be a turning point and we should be pleased we have a museum on our doorstep dedicated to keeping the memories of what happened on that day alive.

But instead of celebrating the formal opening of the revamped front of the museum, staff have been left to clear up and count the cost of a shameful raid.

We sincerely hope those responsible for damaging the museum’s new entrance and stealing a charity box will be found and dealt with swiftly. They deserve to feel the full force of the law and the fact they targeted a building of such significance must be taken into account.

Let’s hope the museum can now put this hateful incident behind them and move on, knowing that the majority of people share their outrage and support the work they have been doing.