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Authorities investigating defacing of war memorial

Authorities investigating defacing of war memorial

May 06, 2011 7:16 PM

GRAHAM — Authorities are checking surveillance cameras near the war memorial monument in front of the Alamance County Courthouse trying to determine who threw hot grease on the section dedicated to the four men who lost their lives while deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The grease was first noticed on Monday afternoon — less than 24 hours after President Obama informed the country that Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, in a compound in Pakistan — but wasn’t reported to law enforcement.

The person who noticed it cleans and repairs the monument, which is maintained by the Alamance County War Memorial Committee. He planned to return Friday to clean the grease and do his repairs. He asked the Times-News not to use his name.

Sometime between when he saw the grease Monday afternoon and Friday morning, someone else spotted it and it was part of a discussion on a local radio show, which is how county officials as well as law enforcement learned about it.

Graham police and the Alamance County Sheriff’s Department are both looking into the matter. The sheriff’s department is reviewing surveillance cameras, said Graham police Capt. Steve McGilvray.

While the wall includes the names of Alamance County people who died in the Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, USS Liberty attack and the Middle East conflict, the grease only covered the portion designated for the Middle East conflict.

“The fact that someone would deface a monument is not exactly a good thing,” said Richard Hill, who works for public buildings department in the county. “… It’s breaking the law.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Graham Police Department at 336-570-6711, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Department at 336-570-6300 or Crime Stoppers at 336-229-7100.

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