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Reward Offered In Statue Vandalism

By Staff | Jun 26, 2008

REWARD OFFERED – A reward in excess of $700 is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the vandalism and destruction of these two statues at the Veterans Memorial on south Broadway. The Korean war soldier, in the foreground, and the Army nurse, in the background, were broken beyond repair when they were toppled to the ground between Midnight and 1 a.m. Saturday, June 21. Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the Emmetsburg Police Department at 712-852-2424.--- Jane Whitmore photo

As community outrage continues to grow over the senseless destruction of two statutes at the Veteran’s Memorial this past weekend, the Emmetsburg Police Department continues to investigate the crime. However, the establishment of a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case this week is growing as more and more people support the investigation.

“We received permission from the Emmetsburg City Council on Monday night to offer a reward of $700 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for damaging the statues at the Veterans’ Memorial,” Emmetsburg Police Chief Eric Hanson reported on Tuesday. “But what makes this so special is the fact that several local businesses and private individuals are also stepping forward to add additional monies to the reward fund.”

According to Chief Hanson, the vandalism occurred sometime between the hours of midnight and 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 21. Three of the four statues at the memorial, waiting to be permanently mounted, were tipped over. Two of the statues, representing an Army nurse and Korean War soldier, were broken when they were toppled. The third statue of a current era soldier did not fall to the ground and was righted without damage. The fourth statue of a sailor was not involved in the senseless act.

The statues had been purchased through donations to be installed as part of the Veteran’s Memorial along south Broadway. Pedestals for the four statues had been completed last Friday, and the statues were to have been mounted on the pedestals this week, prior to the upcoming Sesquicentennial Observance.

Word of the vandalism spread quickly on Saturday morning, especially among local veterans. One veteran, wishing to remain anonymous, hoped those who destroyed the statues would have to appear before the Veterans of Foreign Wars to explain their reasoning for the vandalism.

“People are very upset about this incident and we will find those responsible,” Chief Hanson noted. “Hopefully, with a reward in excess of $700, we will be able to resolve this incident very soon.”

Anyone who might have information or any knowledge of this incident is urged to contact the Emmetsburg Police Department at 712-852-2424 with their information. Your identity is not required.

“Not only does this anger many people, it is also a very sad incident for not only our veterans, but for our community as a whole,” Hanson noted. “All of our veterans deserve our respect and support for all they have done for us over the years and for what they do today and in the future.”