A man looks at the Animals in War memorial in Park Lane part of which has been vandalized on May 27, 2013 in London, England. Local media are reporting that the word 'Islam' was painted on the war memorials in the early hours of the morning. (Photo: Getty Images)
In the wake of the horrifying terror attack in Woolwich last week, where an off-duty British soldier was beheaded in the street, vandals spray painted the word "Islam" in large, red letters on a number of British war memorials. They also covered the dedications with red paint.
In response, a disgusted 89-year-old veteran vowed not to leave one of the memorials until all the graffiti was removed, The Sun reports:
Dedicated Douglas Radcliffe MBE - who is the Secretary of the Bomber Command Association - said he was "very disturbed" by the act of vandalism and said he could not understand why anyone would deface the honour.
He said: "I'm standing here until this graffiti is removed.
"The 77,000 young men who died, died to give whoever put that graffiti there the freedom to live in this country and honour it, so I can't believe that somebody would do this."
The Bomber Command Memorial remembers the sacrifice and bravery of the 55,573 RAF crew who lost their lives in the Second World War and was unveiled by the Queen last summer.
The Animals in War Memorial [which was also vandalized] is “a powerful and moving tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century”, according to its fund website.
Radcliffe's actions, and the outrage of many others, have already made an impact.
A police officer stands by a covered section of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command war memorial on May 27, 2013 in London, England. Local media are reporting that the word 'Islam' was painted on two war memorials in the early hours of the morning. (Photo: Getty Images)
Authorities quickly covered the text after it was discovered early Monday morning, and then the RAF Benevolent Fund, a veteran's charity, said it would pay to have the monuments repaired.
By Tuesday afternoon, a number of workmen using high-pressure steam tools were seen working to remove the graffiti.
"The RAF Benevolent Fund is the proud guardian of the Bomber Command Memorial in London. It saddens everyone here that anyone would see fit to paint graffiti on such a magnificent monument," an announcement on the charity's website says.
Dean Benton, the Director of Marketing and Communications at the RAF Benevolent Fund, added:
"It’s a sad turn of events that has seen graffiti painted on the Bomber Command Memorial. It is the job of the RAF Benevolent Fund to maintain this fine memorial and preserve it for future generations. This mindless act of vandalism re-emphasises the fact that we must still raise £1.5 million towards the ongoing maintenance costs. We ask the great British public to once more get behind the memorial and help us raise this sum."
The U.K. Telegraph wrote that it was not clear "whether the attack on the war memorials was the work of Islamic extremists or by others seeking to exploit the situation to increase tension between communities."
At this time, no arrests have been made.
(H/T: Gateway Pundit)