The mood of those visiting memorials on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was likely grief, mourning and perhaps some level of anger. But outrage might have outweighed all other emotions for those who saw a 9/11 memorial in Louisiana.
A man has been arrested for allegedly putting up these cardboard cutouts on a 9/11 memorial, which includes steel from the Twin Towers, debris from the Pentagon and dirt from Pennsylvania. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Two steel beams from the World Trade Center towers erected in Lafayette as part of its memorial were defaced with cardboard cutouts of planes crashing into them, symbolizing the terrorist hijacked planes that brought them down, killing thousands. The memorial has been in Parc Sans Souci since September 11, 2002.
KATC-TV reported the cartoon planes having references to the "New World Order," which for some includes a conspiracy theory that the government was behind the 9/11 attacks.
One plane had NWO, standing for New World Order, on it. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
Another plane held this symbol. Some conspiracy theorists, known as 9/11 truthers, believe the government was behind the attacks on Sept. 11. (Image via YouTube video screenshot)
To back up this reference, a cutout of former President George W. Bush was at the memorial as well, showing him with a wad of cash in one hand and a detonator in the other.
“It’s a disgrace to the men and women who died that day,” said Grant Venable, who was only 16 when the attacks occurred. Venable told the Advocate 9/11 inspired him to become a firefighter.
It didn't take long for police to trace the vandalism to 35-year-old Salvador Perez, who was charged with criminal trespassing and damage to a historic building or landmark.
Mugshot of Salvador Perez who allegedly created the artwork that defaced the 9/11 memorial. (Image via the Advocate)
KETK-TV reported Perez has had several prior arrests, including disturbing the peace while intoxicated. Perez was reportedly cooperative when he was arrested for his alleged defacement of the 9/11 memorial.
"It is very disappointing that someone would deface Lafayette's 9/11 Memorial in such a way as to dishonor the people and the first responders who lost their lives protecting this nation," Lafayette Fire Department Chief Robert Benoit said in a statement about the vandalism. "This incident will not overshadow our remembrance and honoring of September 11, 2001, 12 years ago."
Watch this report about the vandalism:
(H/T: Daily Mail)