New Milford has long fostered a tradition of neighbor helping neighbor and residents rallying behind worthy causes for the good of the town.
But a strong sense of community isn't always about building bridges.
Sometimes, it's about repairing them.
That's the unfortunate truth at this time since vandals recently destroyed the railing of a footbridge at Reservoir Park.
The beautiful park, which was created in 2006 in the Second Hill section of New Milford, has streams, a lake and lush forest spread across 172 acres.
Yet the park also has absorbed a litany of vandalism dating back to 2007, including broken glass on the trails, burned kiosk photos, destroyed park signs and now, the latest broken bridge.
Reservoir Park's trail system and bridges were built with volunteer labor from the Friends of the Reservoir and local Boy Scouts, working on their Eagle Scout projects.
In spite of the vandalism, pride and precision remain.
This was supposed to be a park created by New Milford residents for New Milford residents, after it was bought by the town for $1.94 million from United Water in 2005.
Instead, the park has become a target for vandals, although regular patrols by the New Milford Police Department have reduced the number of vandalism incidents until this most recent one, officials said.
Mayor Pat Murphy is correct when she says the town can't patrol the park 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That doesn't mean people can't keep their eyes and ears open for vandalism and report suspicious activity.
Such thoughtless acts are not confined to New Milford, of course. Vandalism happens far too often all across our communities, many in the Greater Danbury area.
There have been vandalism incidents involving headstones at Wooster Cemetery in Danbury, school buses in New Fairfield, public school buildings in Bethel, the 9/11 memorial trees in Newtown and more.
Each time, a community has repaired or rebuilt these important social cornerstones.
We believe this is a clear sign that vandalism will not -- and cannot -- be tolerated.