Police are searching for vandals who allegedly cut down a flagpole holding an American flag at a 9/11 memorial in Washingtonville, New York.
The memorial honors five firefighters from the area who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September, 11, 2001.
According to the Times Herald-Record, the severed flag pole was discovered early Wednesday morning and reported to police. Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro said that the vandals used a tool to cut through the composite material pole and left a message on the four or five feet of pole that remained in place.
Police are opting not to disclose the message while the investigation is still ongoing.
The destroy everything & hate everyone culture has struck again last night as the Washingtonville NY Orange County… https://t.co/3TCW1neiTA— NYCFireWire (@NYCFireWire)1594236597.0
Police reportedly suspect that the responsible parties were also involved in damaging a sign of a church about a half-mile away, due to the fact that an eagle figure which removed from the flagpole was left near the toppled church sign.
The Times Herald-Record describes the memorial as a "somber, granite-and-brick tribute to the 'Washingtonville Five' and the other 9/11 victims." It was completed on Sept. 7, 2002, before the first anniversary of the firefighters' deaths.
The fallen "Washingtonville Five" heroes are firefighters Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton, and Gerry Nevins; Battalion Chief Dennis Devlin, and Lt. Glenn Perry.
In response to the news, Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco said the village will replace the flagpole and announced a $3,000 reward for any information regarding the incident.