A Boston display of 2,997 flags commemorating the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was vandalized between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to reports.
Members of Project 351, a youth leadership organization, set up the flags on Wednesday evening in Boston’s Garden of Remembrance, a monument to the nearly 200 people with ties to Massachusetts who died in the attacks 20 years ago.
On Thursday morning, passersby noticed many of the flags were pulled out of the ground and strewn across the paths. Garbage cans were knocked over, and signs explaining the significance of the memorial were missing.
Boston police are investigating the vandalism. On Thursday afternoon, they reported they had identified a suspect who would be summoned to court on vandalism charges.
Carolyn Casey, executive director of Project 351, told CBS Boston the sight was “heartbreaking and disappointing.” Many people passing through the park shared their sentiments and stopped to help put the display back in order. Some of them had personal connections to the 9/11 attacks.
“I got a shock, I held my heart. It was a physical reaction,” said Teresa Mathai, who lost her husband in the attacks. “Current generation, most probably born after 9/11 who don’t understand the importance of it, the gravity, the history of it.”
Casey expressed gratitude to the people who took the time to show respect and fix the display.
“It says that the best of our humanity is what gets us through every challenge or any challenge,” she said. “But as we know in Boston and Massachusetts, any time there is a challenge or there are acts of hatred, people respond with love, with unity, and community.”
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Original Author: Virginia Aabram
Original Location: Boston 9/11 memorial vandalized