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Opinion: He’s guarded over our square and didn’t provoke this crime
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Downtown Gainesville's Old Joe statue is clean of graffiti Monday, June 1, 2020, after vandals painted the base of the monument the night before during protests downtown. - photo by Scott Rogers

I wish to report a crime against a most revered citizen of Gainesville.

He is a person who happens to be a beautiful shade of bronze.

He never served in the military but has represented countless Hall County veterans.

He has been in Gainesville for over a century and a survivor of the tornado of 1936.

He has attended every event on the Gainesville square including the Mule Camp Market and chicken festivals. He has stood behind the men and women of law enforcement.

He has never uttered a single insult or comment against any race, creed, sex or individual since his existence.

He has guarded over the Gainesville square without ever receiving one paycheck or stimulus.

For a crime he had no involvement in whatsoever, he was vandalized and attacked with spray paint. The attack was unprovoked without cause or reason. 

I feel that the victim here, Old Joe, deserves all the protection any citizen of Gainesville deserves and more. He was peacefully minding his own business carrying out his daily duties of guarding the square. I would like to pay respect to my friend Ole Joe.

Barry Colbaugh


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