Memorial honoring fallen service members defaced

The Garden of Heroes Memorial near the statehouse in Providence was vandalized Monday, when someone wrote “F*** America” on it, in permanent marker.

This kind of vandalism wouldn't be welcomed on any day of the year.

But to have it happen on Memorial Day, the very day set aside to remember the service and sacrifice of people like those men and women on the Garden of Heroes Memorial, makes what happened, seem even worse.

Ron Gill Sr. had just returned from visiting his son Ron Jr's grave at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, when he found out that the memorial that bears the name of his son and 20-other fallen service members, had been defaced. Desecrated by a person with a black permanent marker, who wrote “F*** America” right across it.

“They all died serving their country and its just sad, its sad that someone would stoop that low.” said Ron Sr.

Ron Sr. is proud to have his son's name etched into the memorial and he doesn't think that his son or any of the other service members on the memorial, did what they did in life, just to have their memories defaced by a vandal, in death.

“I don't think that anyone of them fought for something like this, to have this happen and I would guarantee they'd all want to have a moment alone with whoever the individual or individuals were that did this.” said Ron Sr.

John Mazzuchelli served in Iraq with 3 of the U.S. Army soldiers whose names grace the memorial.

And after hearing what had happened to the memorial, he had to see what it said with his own eyes, to believe it.

“You know to see someone who died for their country to be disrespected in that way, its absolutely despicable.” said Mazzuchelli.

Even those in the military, without a connection to the memorial or the names on it, were emotional about the vandalism.

That included U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jamal Williams, who was torn up to know that some of his fallen brothers and sisters, had been disrespected.

“You share a special bond that less than 1% of America actually been through, so its just one of those things you can't break, a brotherhood that, even if you didn't know these guys personally, that's just something that breaks your heart.” said Williams.

Capital police expect that the offensive phrase will be cleaned off sometime on Tuesday.

Right now they don't have any leads or suspects related to the memorial's defacing.