PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Department of Public Works crews were hard at work this Memorial Day removing red paint from the World War I Memorial in Lawrenceville.
The memorial, located along Butler Street, was found vandalized early Monday morning.
Crews were using pressure washers to hose off the paint with water but may have to use something else to remove it completely.
— City of Pittsburgh (@CityPGH) May 25, 2020
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responded to the vandalism on Twitter, saying:
“This is not Pittsburgh. Whoever did this. Please leave. Today.”
This is not Pittsburgh. Whoever did this. Please leave. Today. https://t.co/UZc7BjezfI
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) May 25, 2020
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich released this statement:
“Vandalizing a memorial on any day is wrong, but it is incomprehensible to vandalize this memorial on a day in which we honor those who served and gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. Pittsburgh Police will vigorously investigate this crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact police immediately at 412-323-7800.”
People who KDKA talked to say they’re hurt and disgusted by the act of vandalism on a day when we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“It’s just so sad,” Duane Rieder, a Pittsburgh resident, said. “What is your message? Why would you do something like this to this incredible piece?”
The monument, known as “The Doughboy War Memorial,” honors those who served in World War I, but is also in memory to all military members who have sacrificed it all.
“Everybody knows it for where it is. The corner here where Butler comes into here with Penn,” said Rieder.
It was recently cleaned up, with flags placed around it, just in time for Memorial Day. But, this morning, is was found splashed in bright red paint and covered in symbols and an unknown message.
According to police, it happened just before 8 a.m. Monday. When KDKA’s cameras got there, the paint still appeared wet. Some of it even landed on the American flags.
Police say they’re checking out surveillance cameras in the area.
Pittsburgh Police from Zone 2 are investigating after the WWI War Memorial on Butler Street and Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville was vandalized overnight.
Police are reviewing all available video footage.
— Pittsburgh Police (@PghPolice) May 25, 2020
Rieder, who has lived in Lawrenceville for over 20 years and owns the Clemente Museum, which is just steps away from the now defaced monument says we’re in a time we should be uniting, not dividing.
“It’s very sad, it’s very sad,” said Reider.