Residents of a suburban Illinois town were shocked when they discovered that their beloved veterans memorial had been vandalized over the weekend.
The monuments in New Lenox honored the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guards and Marines serving in wars from the Civil War to Afghanistan. Despite their massive size and weight, they were pushed to the ground and broken.
Only one monument, dedicated to the Army, still stands in front of the village hall. Workers began removing the remaining pieces of each monument on Monday, including the welcome plaque.
“I couldn’t believe someone would do such a thing — to strike against the veterans of the United States,” Tom Weigel, a veteran and New Lenox resident, said.
Veterans and town members have speculated as to why someone would target the monument, especially since the grounds have been considered sacred since their dedication ten years ago.
A restoration fund has since been set up to help pay for the monument’s repairs.
Police believe they have some leads, but are asking anyone with information to come forward.