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Pics: War memorials in RI, OR vandalized over Memorial Day weekend

Rows of headstones line the grounds at the Brookwood American Military Cemetery, May 30, 2021. . (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jennifer Zima)
June 01, 2021

War memorials in Rhode Island and Oregon were vandalized over Memorial Day weekend, a federal holiday dedicated to fallen troops who died while serving the United States and their gold star families.

NBC 10 reporter Tyler Dumont posted pictures of the defaced memorial in Providence, Rhode Island’s LaSalle Square on Twitter, showing four stones covered in black paint.

“Truly disgraceful. On this #MemorialDay, someone has defaced the war memorial at LaSalle Square in Providence. 4 stones bearing the names of residents who sacrificed their lives in WWII, Korea & Vietnam have been vandalized with black spray paint. Police investigating,” he tweeted.

The vandalism was reported to local police around 8:15 a.m. on Memorial Day, and was removed by an employee of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center by early Tuesday, NBC 10 reported.

It is unclear if the Providence Police Department has identified any suspects.

The Providence Journal reported that Mayor Jorge Elorza issued the following statement Tuesday morning: “I strongly condemn the vandalism that occurred at the Providence War Memorial. We pay homage to Providence residents who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and we remember them every day, especially during Memorial Day weekend. The City’s Graffiti Task Force will immediately work to repair the Memorial.”

Also over the weekend, the Wall of Honor Memorial in Eugene, Oregon, was tagged with graffiti that read, “I refuse to glorify imperialism.”

ABC 9 News reported that the 12-foot Skinner Butte Park memorial contains the names of 451 Lane County veterans who died while serving in conflicts from World War I to Operation Desert Storm.

One Twitter user shared an image of the graffiti.

The vandalism comes after Vice President Kamala Harris was slammed Saturday for tweeting “enjoy the long weekend” without any acknowledgment of Memorial Day.

The majority of the reactions to her tweet were negative. Retired Marine Joey Jones mocked the post that included an image of Harris, writing, “hey @KamalaHarris my buddies wanted me to post our selfie to tell you to ‘enjoy the long weekend’ too!” Jones’ post included an image of himself standing in front of a wall filled with photos of fallen service members.

On Friday, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation calling for peace on Memorial Day.

“On Memorial Day, we honor and reflect upon the courage, integrity, and selfless dedication of the members of our Armed Forces who have made the greatest sacrifice in service to our Nation,” the president’s statement read.  “Whether in the waters of the Pacific, on the beachheads of Europe, in the deserts of the Middle East, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, American service members have given their lives to uphold our Constitution and to defend the safety and freedoms of our citizens.”

“These patriots embody the best of the American spirit. They put themselves on the line for our shared values — for duty, honor, country — and they paid the ultimate price,” his statement continued. “Our Nation can never fully repay the debt we owe to our fallen heroes and their families.”