Sep 11, 2013 11:50 PM by Erin Steuber

Veteran Who Funded 9-11 Monument Says Vandalism Disgraceful

As Americans around the country, and the world, paused to remember September 11th, a startling find in Lafayette. 35-year-old Salvador Perez is facing charges of criminal damage to a historic building, or landmark, and criminal trespassing. If convicted, he faces a fine up to one-thousand dollars, and two years in jail.

This is what he's accused of doing to the monument:

Police were called there early this morning to find two cardboard planes on the beams from the Twin Towers. There was also a cardboard cutout of former President George W. Bush, holding money and what appeared to be a remote. And on a nearby building, a drawing of a sniper, aiming at the monument.

It's a story that's receiving some national attention, not just because of when it happened, but where.

It was one year after the attacks, that the monument was put up in Lafayette. The beams, from the Twin Towers in New York; The dirt, from that field in Pennsylvania and the limestone is from the Pentagon. It is in everyway a true representation of a national tragedy and that's why some say what happened is so disrespectful.

The to scale representation of the Twin Towers is meant to act as a constant reminder of those who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attacks 12 years ago. But overnight the Lafayette monument was defaced.

"The first thing you think is it's just kinda silly. But the next thing that hits you is this must be an individual that has failed at everything he's tried to do and does not have the high regard for this country that we all should have," said 91-year-old Veteran Bob Lowe.

Under arrest is Salvador Perez of Lafayette.

"I feel sorry for him. I'm sad for him because with his attitude, and his lack of respect for our country, he is going to be a total failure all of his life," said Lowe.

Lowe, who helped fund the September 11th monument, says this is not an argument of free speech.

"Free speech is fine. He should go out there at 2 in the afternoon, get a microphone, go up on stage and express himself so all the public can come and listen to what he has to say," said Lowe. "But to go out there, and then at night to do these things that are expressive of contempt of our government. It's unforgivable."

Everything was cleaned up soon after the vandalism was discovered. Throughout the day people continued to pay their respects to the thousands who lost their lives 12 years ago.


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