A World War II memorial at the Evergreen Cemetery in Charlotte, N.C. was recently vandalized with pro-Communist graffiti.
The red and yellow spray-painted graffiti was discovered on Monday morning was suspected to have been vandalized the previous night, Fox 46 reported. Footage of the vandalism showed a faded “hammer and sickle” Communist symbol.
The words “Glory to the day of heroism June 19, 1986,” were also spray-painted on the monument. The date refers to a communist-inspired Peruvian prison uprising which was violently quelled.
The same hammer and sickle symbols and references to the Peruvian prison uprising were also spray-painted on a War Memorial at Doughboy Square in Pittsburgh, Penn. last month.
The markings were partially obscured by the time the video was recorded. By that point, U.S. Air Force veteran Wayne White had already gathered some friends to scrub away the graffiti.
“Wayne White, a US Air Force Vet, rounded up some friends and is working to help clean up a Charlotte WWII memorial after seeing on social media that it had been defaced,” Fox 46 photojournalist Jonathan Monté tweeted, along with pictures of the vandalism. “He tells me that the names on this memorial ‘are veterans and deserve the honor, respect, and the dignity’. That’s why he took the day off and drove from his home in South Carolina to get this graffiti cleaned up.”
He tells me that the names on this memorial “are veterans and deserve the honor, respect, and the dignity”. That’s why he took the day off and drove from his home in South Carolina to get this graffiti cleaned up. @FOX46News pic.twitter.com/pjYwgeYSum
— Jonathan Monté (@JonMonteFOX46) June 22, 2020
The NC monument lists the names of more than 500 veterans from Mecklenburg County in North Carolina who died during World War II.
“Dedicated to the memory of the Mecklenburg heroes of World War II who made the supreme sacrifice that you might live in liberty, freedom and peace,” the monument reads, along with the names of those veterans who died.
Police in Charlotte have not identified any suspects in the vandalism case and an investigation of the incident remains open.
The vandalism incident comes amid a wave of statue toppling and other acts of monument vandalism following the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis police custody. Activists initially targeted statues of Confederate leaders, but went on to target statues of other historic figures, such as President George Washington.
Instances of graffiti have also been seen at the World War II Memorial and Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday he had “authorized” federal law enforcement authorities to strictly enforce laws regarding the protection of historic monuments. He threatened those vandals with up to 10 years imprisonment, as specified under the statutes.