WWI Memorial in NYC Vandalized by Anti-Israel Protestors

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A World War I memorial in New York City’s Central Park was vandalized by anti-Israel protesters this week.

As per the New York Post, the incident occurred on Monday night near the park’s 67th Street entrance, where the bronze 107th Infantry Memorial has stood since its dedication in 1929. Sculpted by Karl Illava who served in the 107th Infantry himself, the statue depicts seven soldiers charging through Germany’s Hindenburg Line during the war.

Protesters scrawled “Gaza” and “Free Palestine” in graffiti on the memorial’s base and plastered the bronze soldiers with anti-Israel stickers. One protester reportedly burned an American flag in front of the monument while others climbed onto the sculpture waving Palestinian flags.

In response, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, whose uncle was killed in Vietnam at 19 years old, blasted the vandals for decorating the memories of American heroes.

“I am not going to remain silent. We should not remain silent, because our silence gives the belief that everything is okay and it is not okay. Not only was this statue desecrated, but down the block, another statue was desecrated,” Adams said in a statement.

“We know how important free speech is to this country. It’s the core of our democracy, one that many Americans, like the symbols of these men, fought and ensured that it would stay intact. It’s a unique qualification that this country is so proud to have.”

A 16-year-old suspect, known for attending rallies organized by the anti-Israel group Within Our Lifetime, was detained by the NYPD on Thursday after his father allegedly brought him in. He now faces felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor graffiti charges, which could lead to a prison sentence of up to 25 years, according to the report.

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