YORK TWP. –– Vandalism of a military monument in York Township has authorities searching for the culprits and township trustees looking for a way to repair the memorial to veterans killed in action.
An unknown person knocked over a large military monument at the Gold Star Families Memorial monument at the York Township Community Park and the damage was discovered Wednesday.
A resident reached out to Trustee Richard Monroe about the damage. He then went to check it out and made the call to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office at about 5:35 p.m.
“We were informed of the vandalism that was done yesterday, yesterday afternoon,” Monroe said. “I went up to check it out and sure enough … there was a monument that was pushed over. It did break it, it is chipped.”
The base of the monument dedicated to the U.S. Army was ripped out of the ground and is no longer attached to a large marble foundation slab. The damage that is visible includes chips in the stone.
Monroe said the monument has yet to be lifted off the ground, so the township is unsure of what damage lies beneath the monument.
Township trustees do not have a damage estimate yet, but Monroe said he is sure that the township will be unable to afford the repairs at this time.
The entire monument, which is located in the community park on Columbia Road just north of state Route 18, was built about three years ago at a cost of about $140,000. It is dedicated to Gold Star families whom have lost a loved one serving in the military.
A “Not on my Watch” monument is part of memorial along with six granite monuments erected by Milano Monuments. A prominent part is a pair of monuments positioned next to each other and allowing the outline of a saluting solider to stand out.
It was funded through donations and fundraising.
Monroe said it is one of the largest Gold Star memorials of its kind in the country. And despite its visible location, the memorial has never been vandalized in the past.
“This means so much to the community,” Monroe said. “It was several years of planning, of fundraising, to get this thing going. … It’s probably the pride of York Township here.”
Monroe called the vandalism at the monument “disheartening.”
He said he hopes that the person responsible comes forward or is found by law enforcement.
The Sheriff’s Office asks that if anyone has any information on this incident to call (330) 725-6631.