A flag pole at a memorial honoring four firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center was found cut down by vandals in Washingtonville, New York.
The defunct pole was discovered on Wednesday and, according to Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro, a tool was used to cut the pole. Four to five feet of the pole was left standing in the ground and a message, which has not been released by authorities, was written on it with a marker.
The destroy everything & hate everyone culture has struck again last night as the Washingtonville NY Orange County 9/11 Memorial park was vandalized & AMERICAN FLAG CUT DOWN. These individuals obviously don't know what sacrificing everything to save a fellow human being really is pic.twitter.com/oUFdh3gWr2
— NYCFireWire (@NYCFireWire) July 8, 2020
An eagle figurine that sat atop the memorial’s flag pole was found at St. Mary’s Parish Center, which was also vandalized, about a half-mile away.
Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco said the village will replace the damaged flagpole and placed a $3,000 reward for information about the incident and the suspects, according to the Times-Herald Record.
“There’s always someone sitting on those benches, from morning until night,” Bucco said, noting that the vandalism must have happened the previous night.
The memorial features five members of the New York City Fire Department that lost their lives, including firefighters Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton, Gerry Nevins, Batallion Chief Dennis Devlin, and Lt. Glenn Perry.
An investigation into the incident has been launched and authorities are now asking that people with knowledge of those who carried out the act please contact the police.