A World War II memorial in Charlotte, North Carolina, was defaced with a hammer and sickle and a message that seems to refer to the Peruvian prison massacres of 1986.
The 20-foot tall monument contains the names of over 5,000 people who died in WWII and whose bodies were kept at the train depot in Charlotte on their way to other cemeteries. Among the names are more than 500 residents of Mecklenburg County who died in the war.
The vandals used red spray paint to write, “Glory to the day of heroism June 19, 1986.” That is the date of the prison riots in Peru which led to the deaths of 224 people.
A hammer and sickle emblem was also painted on the wall. The hammer and sickle is a symbol of communism.
There is also yellow paint sprayed on the memorial which covers a passage that says, “Dedicated to the memory of the Mecklenburg heroes of World War II who made the supreme sacrifice that you might live in liberty, freedom and peace.
Wayne White, a US Air Force Vet, rounded up some friends and is working to help clean up a Charlotte WWII memorial after seeing on social media that it had been defaced. @FOX46News pic.twitter.com/KvrglFBwfN
— Jonathan Monté (@JonMonteFOX46) June 22, 2020
A memorial in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, was vandalized in a similar manner over Memorial Day weekend. The National World War I museum in Kansas City, Missouri, had a similar message painted on its building last year.
The police department in Charlotte stated that they had not received a report about the vandalism. The city’s cemetery division has not issued a statement.
On Monday, a group of volunteers began scrubbing off the paint. US Air Force veteran Wayne White said that he gathered some friends to clean up the monument after he saw images of the vandalism online.
He said that the names on the memorial “deserve the honor, respect, and dignity.”
On June 19, 1986, members of the Communist Party of Peru (also known as the Shining Path) were massacred in prison.
The monument sits in the Evergreen Cemetery on Central Avenue in Charlotte. It was dedicated in 1949 and cost $12,000 to build. It is made of blue granite and consists of a central shaft that reaches twenty feet in height.
The central shaft is made of four separate sections. The second section from the top is engraved with an eagle that has its wings outstretched.
There are two wings stretching out to either side of the central shaft. The walls of each wing are engraved with the names of the deceased who were temporarily kept in Charlotte on their way to other cemeteries plus the names of the approximately 500 local residents who perished in the war.
Each wing has a smaller shaft at the end and another at the midway point of the wing. Each smaller shaft has the coat of arms of one of the branches of the military engraved at the top of it.
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The FBI is investigating the vandalism of the Pennsylvania monument. Many citizens of the Lawrenceville community were furious as the defacing happened on Memorial Day weekend when many people visited to pay respects to those who sacrificed their lives for this country.