Home owners on Francis Street in Fenelon Falls were shocked and outraged when swastikas showed up on the sidewalk on Saturday morning.
The symbols were drawn using sidewalk chalk and at least one of them was in front of the home of some residents of German descent, according to neighbours.
But the swastikas didnt stay swastikas for long. When residents heard about the incident they were upset and angry. Caroline Fenelius Carpenter says at first she too was angry. “I became enraged and swore and thought of all the vile, hurtful things I could do back to the unknown perpetrator.” Then she says she quickly came to see it in another light. Maybe it was the realization that two wrongs don’t make a right.” she told Kawartha411. “Maybe it was the realization that now matter how dark or how negative things seem there is always a light, always something beautiful to be found. I knew something had to be done and it could just be washed away.” she says. The forecast was calling for rain later that day.
Fenelius Carpenter and her son Erik went around town asking local businesses for donations. The Butterfly Boutique and Gr8 Finds on Colborne Street stepped up and donated sidewalk chalk. They sat down and turned a symbol of hatred and death into something beautiful. “As we sat there and drew we learned the simplest acts can make a difference for someone. We learned doing something feels better than doing nothing.”
And it had a positive impact on her son. “He got that were were doing something good” she says. “We didn’t do it to get paid or because we had to but just because it seemed right.”
They spent the next hour turning a swastika into a poppy.
As the rain started to fall that afternoon in Fenelon Falls, Erik had some profound words for his mom. ” He said to me, you know, I think mother nature is mad about the swastikas too and that’s why it’s raining.
“We learned that even as it was washed away a few hours later the act itself and the impact it had on a select few is what will remain not the ignorance and hatred that put it there in the first place.”
Police were called and are investigating the incident.