MASSENA — Vandalism has struck at Veterans Memorial Park.
A monument that recognizes donors who contributed to the building of a gazebo and other improvements in the park will need to be repaired after they were damaged by vandals.
Three Plexiglas coverings were busted and, in one case, the list of contributors has been damaged.
“That’s going to be the worst one right there,” VFW Post 1144 Commander Verne Drew Jr. said as he surveyed the damage with American Legion Post 79 Commander Robert LeBoeuf and Amvets Post 4 Vice Commander Tim Mattice Wednesday morning.
The damage was consistent on all three sections of the monument. Something had been swung hard enough to crack the Plexiglas.
“It was some kind of tool for sure,” Mr. LeBoeuf said. “It was very disrespectful.”
He said he was made aware of the damage after a woman who volunteers to clean up around the park noticed the broken Plexiglas.
“She came over to the Legion to tell me,” Mr. LeBoeuf said.
Mr. Mattice said they will need to price out how much it will cost to repair the damage, and they hope donations will help cover some of the cost.
“If anybody wants to contribute, they can drop donations off at the American Legion,” Mr. LeBoeuf said.
This isn’t the first time the monument has been vandalized. A similar situation occurred in 2015 and 2016. Damage had been done in the fall of 2015 and, by the time May 2016 rolled around, the situation was worse, and officials said it was likely that some of the new damage had been done recently.
In that case, vandals damaged two areas of the Plexiglas, and a chunk had been taken out of another area.
The park, which sits on the bank of the Grasse River in downtown Massena, is used for a variety of activities, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies and weddings, and has been used in the past for events such as Concerts in the Park and Downtown Christmas celebrations.
In addition to the gazebo, a number of other enhancements have been made to the park over the years, such as the construction of an entrance wall that welcomes visitors to the park.
Anyone who has information about the recent vandalism can contact the Massena Police Department at 315-769-3577.