A memorial display dedicated to the 2,977 innocent Americans whose lives were brutally taken at the hands of terrorists 21 years ago was defaced overnight, according to a tip received through Young America’s Foundation’s Campus Bias Tip Line.
The display, which was put up by the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter in the center of Michigan State University’s campus, featured an American flag for each victim of the attacks. Additionally, it featured a hand-painted American flag on a large rock with the inscription, “2,977 Lives,” and “Never Forget.”
Vandals, writing with paint, added the words, “461,000 Iraqi Civilians” below the YAF chapter’s original memorial display. Additionally, they added four handprints made using the same blood-red paint.
Just last year, at the same exact location, the display was also destroyed by paint vandals. The word “Israel” was written across the rock.
Shortly after the hand-painted portion of the display was defaced, YAF chapter members noticed that their nearly-3,000 American flags had gone missing. It was later determined that staff members from the university’s Landscaping and Grounds Department disposed of the flags, allegedly because they thought the display was abandoned. It is very disappointing that any staff member of a public university would treat the banner of our nation with such grave disrespect.
“This is the second year in a row that our 9/11 memorial has been vandalized. As disheartening as it is, it also highlights why we do this every year. This demonstrates that there are still people out there who need to be reminded of this tragedy and the way it permanently affected our nation,” Jaryn Crouson, Chairwoman of Michigan State University’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, told YAF.
Michigan State University did not respond to YAF’s request for the university to identify its alleged policy regarding “abandonment.”
The chapter, with assistance from Young America’s Foundation, is conducting an independent investigation in an attempt to determine responsibility for the deeply disrespectful act of vandalism.