Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield's Illinois Monument vandalized

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Jul. 12—The largest monument at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park was vandalized last week, according to the National Park Service.

Park Superintendent Patrick Gamman said the vandalism was discovered Friday morning and is believed to have occurred Thursday night. The vandal burned several small American flags at the nearby graves of unknown soldiers, etched a crude symbol of male genitals into the side of the Illinois Monument and burned a corner of the marble structure.

The incident is under investigation by Cobb Police, NPS police, and an arson investigator. Gamman said park staff spent all weekend cleaning and repairing the monument from the "crime against our parks." As of Monday afternoon, no graffiti was visible.

"When people do this, it hurts the community, because people here really love this place," Gamman said.

The monument is the largest and among the oldest at Kennesaw Mountain, dedicated in 1914 on a 60-acre parcel which formed the original basis for the park. The unknown soldier grave sites, meanwhile, dates from the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact the National Park Service's tip line at 888-653-0009.

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