9/11 memorial vandalized: Granite Twin Towers replica defaced with 'Taliban' graffiti

The 9/11 memorial, newly constructed by the Upstate Granite Solution in Greenville, South Carolina, was vandalized Saturday night on September 11


                            9/11 memorial vandalized: Granite Twin Towers replica defaced with 'Taliban' graffiti
A photo of the vandalized memorial and an employee cleaning it. (Facebook/Upstate Granite Solutions)

GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA: A South Carolina town's newly constructed 9/11 memorial was reportedly vandalized with the word “Taliban” on Saturday evening, September 11, which was the 20th anniversary of the attack. The memorial was located in the Upstate Granite Solution company's grounds, at Greenville, South Carolina. 

The company, which is "veteran-owned and operated" as per its website, had created a replica of the North and South towers to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Reportedly, the two towers of granite had light beams installed through the middle and were surrounded by American flags.



 

According to Paul Nichols, the founder, and CEO of Upstate Granite Solutions, someone spray-painted the base of the monument and one of the towers with the word “Taliban.” He told WSPA, “We spent the time and money on this monument in order to bring our community together and unite over the memory of those who died on the attacks 20 years ago, as well as, those first responders who willingly laid down their lives to serve others.”

"This monument is meant to show the community how much we care and to offer our support to our military and our first responders and let people know there’s still something to believe in America," Kelly Nichols, Pual's wife, told WYFF

“We're not going to change our viewpoint and our stance, but I think we need to be willing to hear why other people are hurt about this, so we can come together as a community,” she said. “This wasn’t meant to be divisive. This was meant to unify us.” 



 

The company filed a police report with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. On Sunday the company posted photos of the damage on Facebook, writing that it "takes more than a little spray paint to destroy our spirit of patriotism”. Reportedly, employees were able to remove the spray paint Sunday morning, September 12.

Speaking with The Independent, Paul said the company began working on the memorial a month ago so that it would be ready for the 20th anniversary. He said the towers — a pair of 4,000lb granite slabs filled with concrete that are 13 feet tall on a 2.5ft base -- were completed on Wednesday, September 8.

Paul told The Independent that the memorial had attracted hundreds of people since being finished, particularly at night when the monument is lit up and could be seen from 25 miles away. "Apparently during the night on Saturday night, someone came through and spray painted the base of the monument and one of the towers with spray paint," he said. "I received a message from a community member saying that the monument had been vandalized."

A photo of the vandalized memorial. (Facebook/Upstate Granite Solutions)

 

On their Facebook post, many commented with support for Paul and the company. “This makes me absolutely sick! We appreciate the hard work you guys did On this monument it is absolutely beautiful! God bless the USA,” said one comment. Another person wrote, “So much hatred in people’s hearts these days. Thank goodness it came off.”

One comment also read, “I was amazed at the huge flag when you put it up but this was just wow! Great memorial and I drive by every day for work. It makes me mad someone would deface an American memorial like this! I hope they are caught and if you don't have any yet, maybe get cameras up? This country is divided enough without things like this happening. Thank you for your patriotism and for your service.”

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