Crime

Vandals spray-paint WWI Memorial in KC with message about Peruvian prison revolts

Vandals spray paint Liberty Memorial dedication wall

Vandals spray painted the busts on the dedication wall of the Liberty Memorial in the early morning hours on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Vandals spray painted the busts on the dedication wall of the Liberty Memorial in the early morning hours on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Police are looking for two people who vandalized the Dedication Wall of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City early Tuesday.

The vandals struck about 1 a.m. at the Liberty Memorial at 2 Memorial Drive, when two people were seen spray-painting graffiti on the wall, which is located on the northern edge of the Museum and Memorial Grounds near Pershing Road.

A witness told police that the vandals sprayed in red paint the words “Glory to the fallen martyrs . . .” before running away. The graffiti appears to reference the June 1986 prison revolts in Peru where 250 inmates died.

The Dedication Wall holds the bronze busts of the five Allied leaders — Gen. Baron Jacques of Belgium, Gen. Armando Diaz of Italy, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France, Gen. John J. Pershing of the United States, and Sir Admiral Earl David Beatty of Great Britain — present during the site dedication on Nov. 1, 1921.

In addition to the words, the vandals also spray-painted “Xs” across the leaders’ faces.

“The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s official World War I memorial,” said Mike Vietti, director of marketing, communications and guest services for the museum and memorial.

“There is no other in the entire United States, so obviously it is quite sacred. Anytime a national memorial is vandalized, it is obviously a tragedy.”

He referred all questions relating to the investigation to police.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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