Community Issues

Vandals Damage WWI Era Memorial, You Can Help

It could cost $1000 to clean the monument. You can help with donations to restore it, or information to catch the vandals who damaged it.

Vandals did at least $1000 in damage to the war monument at Brackenridge Memorial Park in Brackenridge, and local vets want to know who did it and why. The memorial, which contains the names of hundreds of community members who served and died in conflicts from World War I through Korea was defaced with silver spray paint. The vandalism was discovered this week, but it's not immediately clear how long it had been there.

Looking at the photographs shot by Sparkt's Patrick O'Connor, the damage doesn't look like what you might expect: no haphazard graffiti tags, broken bricks or smashed bronze statues. Instead, it appears someone tried to deliberately paint all of the bronze items on the memorial silver, including the large eagle on top. "Everything that was originally bronze has been spray painted" Brackenridge Councilman Dino Lopreiato told KDKA-TV. The eagle is 10 feet off the ground so the vandals probably would have needed a ladder, but so far no witnesses have come forward.

If the amateur paint job was meant to try and improve the memorial, the the vandals were sloppy about it. There are splatters of paint on the large plaques listing the names of those who served, and drips on the limestone base and decorative flags.

And if the vandals thought they were doing the town a favor by sprucing up the memorial, they did just the opposite. Veterans groups were already planning to restore the memorial, and now they'll need thousands more to clean up the unwanted paint job before they can start. "It really means a lot to our veterans from Brackenridge American Legion and the residents," Frank Svitek, commander of American Legion Post 226 in Brackenridge told KDKA. He said they're checking security cameras in the area to see if the vandals were caught on video.

You can help. If you know who the vandals are, Brackenridge Boro police want to hear from you at (412) 473-3056. Or you can donate to the memorial restoration fund by mailing a check to:

Brackenridge Improvement Group

P.O. Box 160

Brackenridge, PA 15014

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