‘This is sacred ground.’ Harrison residents outraged over desecration of veterans monument
There is anger and outrage in Harrison as vandals defaced a monument that honors those who served their country.
The monument sits in Ma Riis Park in the town.
“I’m very disturbed by this. I don’t see why they’d come over here and mess with this,” says Fred Cifichiello, Jr.
Cifichiello served in the Army during the Korean Conflict. His name is on the monument, as is the name of his father, a World War II veteran.
“I feel that this is sacred ground. These men, women, nurses, gave their time, their lives, to serve the country. Whoever did this, this is a very cheap shot,” Cifichiello says.
"Some of the older families in town you'll see World War I, World War II, and you'll see Korea, and you'll see Vietnam, so you're talking four generations of people," says Harrison Veterans Affairs chairman Joe Mazzullo.
The vandalism likely happened overnight Saturday. Someone using black paint painted sprayed three Xs and other markings all over the monument.
The monument is a source of pride for Harrison residents whose family members served in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Afghanistan.
Cathy Labrusciano’s father, uncle and cousins all have names on the monument.
“This hurts. It really hits close to home. I cried when I called the mayor this morning. I cried. I could not imagine that somebody would stoop so low and do something so disgraceful and disgusting,” she says.
There are now efforts underway to hire a company to remove the paint without damaging the names inscribed on the Honor Roll.
Police say they have a person of interest and are currently investigating.