Penn's Landing

Vandals cause up to $20K in damages to Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Metal medallions, skate guards and at least 10 lighting fixtures were taken or smashed by vandals sometime in the past week

NBC Universal, Inc.

Vandals have likely caused thousands in damages to Philadelphia's Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Penn's Landing over the last week.

NBC10's Leah Uko visited the memorial, at Front and Spruce streets, for a look at the damage.

She spoke to Jim Curry, a contractor for the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial, who said that, over the past week, metal medallions, skate guards and at least 10 lighting fixtures were stolen or destroyed.

He estimated the damage could cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to repair.

“The veterans really—they’re the ones that raise the money selling t-shirts, beefs and beers, local fundraising to maintain the memorial," he told NBC10. "All the sudden they get his with this, it’s a little disheartening.”

Curry said they are reviewing surveillance footage from over the past week or so to determine how this damage occurred.

A bulk of the destruction, he said, takes away from the memorial's ability to illuminate the 647 names of veterans who served in the war. Also, he noted bronze-colored star-shaped skate guards that were in place to protect the site were torn straight from the marble.

Though, he said, if they were taken by someone hoping to trade them for cash at a scrap yard, they would likely be in for a surprise.

“It’s not brass. They’re brass coated and, like I said, maybe if they get $20—I haven’t been to a scrapyard in a few years, but if they get $20 for pieces of aluminum," he said.

Organizers said that electrical and building trade unions have offered to help provide labor and materials to help repair the damages.

And, Curry said, he plans to recommend a new security camera system be installed in order to prevent future issues.

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