Politics & Policy

Vandals Tear Down 9/11 Memorial Flagpole in New York

(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

Police in New York are looking for the vandals who cut down a flagpole at a memorial honoring five firefighters who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. 

The police chief of Washingtonville, a village north of New York City, told the Times-Herald Record that vandals used a tool to cut the flagpole about five feet from its base and then scrawled a message on the part left standing. Police discovered the damage early Wednesday and would not disclose the nature of the message.

The memorial features a semi-circle of black granite monuments honoring the “Washingtonville five” — New York City Fire Department firefighters Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton, and Gerry Nevins, Batallion Chief Dennis Devlin, and Lieutenant Glenn Perry. 

No other parts of the memorial, which was completed on Sept. 7, 2002, were damaged in the incident, though a sign was vandalized at the St. Mary’s Parish Center about a half-mile away. An eagle figure that had been attached to the flagpole was found near the toppled sign. 

“These two locations mean so much to Washingtonville and the larger community,” New York state assemblyman Colin Schmitt, whose district includes the area, said in a press release.

Washingtonville mayor Joseph Bucco said the village will replace the flagpole and that he expects the village will now install cameras in its park in light of the incident.

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