PLATTSBURGH — A huge vinyl sign bearing a pro-life message was stolen from the grounds of Seton Academy sometime between Sunday and Monday morning.
“It’s so disappointing,” Champlain Valley Right to Life Secretary and Publicity Chairperson Kitty St. Denis said.
It is unlikely, she said, that the theft was connected to the content, as only the bottom half of the 12-by-24-foot sign was secured to the backstop of the baseball field at the school, with the top part folded down over it.
“All (anyone) could see was just white,” she said.
READS ‘CHERISH LIFE’
The man putting up the sign Saturday had a 6-foot ladder, too short to handle the whole project, so he fastened the section he could reach, using plastic electrical pull ties through the metal grommets on the sign.
Then, worrying that wind would toss around the top half before he could finish the job, he left it folded down and fastened it at the bottom, leaving only the plain back of the sign visible.
The front has a green background with white lettering that says, “Cherish Life: It begins at conception.” There’s a large image of a baby as well, along with a small one of an unborn infant, St. Denis said.
Seaway Valley Right to Life gave the sign, valued at between $400 and $500, to the Champlain Valley group.
St. Denis had hoped it could hang on a billboard on busy Route 3 in Plattsburgh, but it appeared the cost for that would be around $800 monthly, she said.
The organization instead got permission from Seton Academy to hang it, for a time, on the backstop at the corner of St. Charles and Elm streets, she said.
Champlain Valley Right to Life exists to “promote,encourage and foster public sentiment and respect for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” according to its website.
Wednesday marks the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in every state.
Monday night, a bus partially sponsored by Champlain Valley Right to Life left Plattsburgh, taking locals to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., an annual protest of Roe v. Wade.
Founder Dr. John Middleton said they don’t know whether the sign thief had any political agenda, “but we’d like to get it back.”
The vandal or vandals would have had to cut the plastic ties to get it down, he added.
The sign is heavy and unwieldy, St. Denis said, so she hoped those who took it might have just abandoned it somewhere nearby.
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Plattsburgh City Police were investigating the theft of the sign from Seton Academy property. Anyone with information is asked to call 563-3411.