Authorities say a vandal defaced a 9/11 memorial in South Carolina over the weekend with the word “Taliban” spray painted on two granite pillars meant to symbolize the Twin Towers.
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said the incident took place around 7:30 a.m. local time near the Greeneville, SC area outside Upstate Granite Solutions, a local company granite on September 12 – a day after the country marked 20 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks 2001.
MPs were able to obtain surveillance footage showing a suspect vandalizing the memorial. The footage showed the suspect arriving at the company in a gray SUV, the sheriff’s office said.
No arrests have been made but the sheriff’s office is investigating.
The granite statue is made up of two towers each weighing 4,000 pounds with a beam of light, according to WYFF-TV. The damage, which had the word “Taliban” painted blue twice on the grand memorial, was cleaned up on Sunday morning after it was discovered and reported, said Paul Nichols, founder and CEO of Upstate Granite Solutions.
More on 9-11:On the 20th Anniversary of September 11, America Honors the Memory of Those Lost: “We Remember”
“It’s not easier”:Mourning at Ground Zero still palpable 20 years after September 11
His granite company built the memorial, surrounded by 1,000 American flags, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The words “NEVER FORGET” were also displayed in front of the memorial.
“This monument is meant to show the community how much we care about ourselves and to offer our support to our military and first responders and to let people know that there is still something to believe in America.” said Kelly Nichols of Upstate Granite Solutions.
Nichols said hundreds of people visited the memorial on Saturday night. The photos show the memorial illuminated in red, white and blue and two beams of light directed towards the sky.
Contribute: The Associated Press.