WWI Memorial Defaced: Memory of Heroes Mocked


Defacing Monuments: Heartless Act Provokes Outrage

NEW YORK CITY – Veterans groups expressed fury and sorrow after an anti-Israel demonstration defaced a World War I monument in New York City this week, prompting city officials to harshly criticize the protesters and question the irony of their right to protest.

The Incident

On Monday evening, demonstrators marched near Hunter College and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Met Gala was being held. A group of protestors converged on Central Park and vandalized the 107th United States Infantry monument with pro-Palestinian stickers. They also spray-painted “Free Gaza” and burned an American flag at the site.

The bronze statue portrays seven soldiers from the U.S. Army 107th Infantry bursting through the German army’s last defense line in 1918.

Protestors’ Actions Condemned

Veterans groups, including AMVETS and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, denounced the vandals’ actions as “inexcusable and infuriating.” Joseph Chenelly, national executive director for AMVETS, labeled the perpetrators as “ignorant of American history.”

Duane Sarmiento, the commander-in-chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, stressed the irony of the protestors’ actions, which violated the memory of those who fought for freedom and the very rights they were exercising.

Mayor Adams’ Response

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, whose uncle died serving in Vietnam, condemned the vandals and offered a ,000 reward for information leading to their arrest. This reward is in addition to a ,000 reward from the NYPD Crime Stoppers.

At a news conference in front of the memorial, Adams vowed not to tolerate the desecration of memorials for those who fought for democracy and human rights.

Veterans Groups’ Stance on Protests

While condemning the vandalism, the American Legion and other veterans groups affirmed their support for the right to assemble and protest peacefully. However, they expressed disappointment at the actions that disrespected the memory of veterans.

“Our members swore on their lives to protect our nation, our flag, and all citizens,” the American Legion stated. “We hope that upon reflection, the demonstrators realize that the nation’s veterans’ defense of the flag actually allows them the right to protest.”

Importance of History

Joseph Chenelly called for the perpetrators to be educated about the sacrifices made by American soldiers in World War I. He highlighted that the protestors’ rights to freedom of speech were likely secured by the actions of these veterans.

“It is quite possible that if American infantrymen didn’t help turn World War I for the Allied Force in 1918 and 1919, protestors wouldn’t have their right to freedom of speech,” Chenelly said.

Data sourced from: foxnews.com