Nearly 3,000 flags planted around Occidental College to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks were trashed and crushed early Sunday, a group says.
Members of the Occidental College Republican Club discovered the destruction early Sunday on the Eagle Rock campus, as well as fliers, they said, that “shamed the victims of 9/11.” The flier, which displayed the image of the two World Trade Center towers, included the message: “R.I.P. The 2,996 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P. the 1,455,590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do.”
“This is beyond politics, this is about those lives that were so tragically taken,” the club said in the statement on social media.
Students placed the flags in the campus’s quad on Saturday night in preparation for the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks, according to the club, which sponsored the memorial.
About 1 a.m. Sunday, 15 students found some flags had been broken and others were tossed into the garbage. Students worked quickly to restore the display.
According to the club, campus security stood guard after the vandalism.
The club alleged that four students walked up to them and broke flags in front of them.
“When we confronted them, those cowards got away as fast as they possibly could,” the club said. “We had thought the storm had passed, however, we were very wrong.”
This time, hundreds of flags were kicked, others were smashed and thrown into the trash, the club said.
“Of course, we put them back in the ground,” they said. “We ask that all students respect the memorial for the remainder of its time in the quad. If you try to destroy it, we will rebuild it.”
Occidental College later released a statement, saying it was investigating the vandalism and urged anyone with information to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, KABC reported.
“We don’t yet know who is responsible for this incident, but the college is investigating and will take appropriate disciplinary action,” the college said.