10 January 2009 by Published in: Battlefield preservation 8 comments

I had heard that the Eternal Peace Light Memorial at Gettysburg had been senselessly vandalized a couple of days ago, but I had not heard just how much damage was done. Then, our friends at Gettysburg Daily documented it on their blog today.

Some moron spray painted obscenities all over the Peace Light, spewing hate and damaging a monument to peace, brotherhood and unity dedicated at the final reunion of the veterans of the Battle of Gettysburg. As it was stated on Gettysburg Daily, “The words are profane, and the drawings are vulgar.” They are so bad, in fact, that the National Park Service had to cover the worst of it up with plywood.

It will cost a great deal of money to remove the spray paint, and it won’t be removed until the weather improves. Personally, I think that waterboarding followed by a trip to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay would be an appropriate punishment for the perpetrators of this vandalism.

Scridb filter


  1. Sat 10th Jan 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Now this pisses me off. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. Sun 11th Jan 2009 at 11:50 am

    We happened to see the uncovered vandalism, and it was disgusting. Imagine the kinds of words and images you’d see in a bus station restroom stall and you’d be pretty close.

    To NPS’ credit, they reacted fairly quickly to the incident. I couldn’t say when the vandalism took place, but it was reported to the NPS late Thursday afternoon (Jan. 8) by a battlefield guide, and the worst of it was covered within 24 hours.

  3. Mon 12th Jan 2009 at 1:12 am

    It’s horrible. As you say, this damage will be enormously expensive and time consuming to repair, not to mention the labor that will be involved. And it will take money that could be put to needed other uses.

    There’s been a lot of vandalism over the past couple years, and unlike being unable to catch the a**holes who damaged several other monument recently, I hope these can be caught. And made an example of. It all is horrendous, but such vadalism to the Peace Memorial is abhorrent in the extreme. Veterans, if they could see it today, would cry.

    Draw and quarter the perpetrators. Then shoot the pieces. That after they have to lick every goddamn bit of spraypaint off with their tongues, for however long it takes.


  4. dan
    Mon 12th Jan 2009 at 11:59 am

    This is a vile thing. These losers should be arrested and made to clean the damage by hand, then taken to jail.

  5. Michael Aubrecht
    Mon 12th Jan 2009 at 4:16 pm

    You would think that they could set up motion detecting lights and maybe trigger or daily tape cameras in certain areas around the park. Technology could enable that to be done discretely I would imagine. The NPS shouldn’t have to go to that extreme of an effort, but in reality it should be approached in some capacity. Honestly in today’s society, I am surprised that it hasn’t been done already.

  6. Mon 12th Jan 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Great idea, Michael. They have those cameras set up all over cities, turnpike interchanges, etc. Run a red light and you get a ticket in the mail a few days later (not that it ever happened to me 🙂

    Seriously, they could probably set up a camera system around vulnerable areas of the park for probably what cleaning up the Peace Memorial is going to cost.

    There are many preservation and rehab projects that sorely need money right now, but maybe it’s time a few hundred grand go into a security system. The Rangers and Park Watch do a tremendous job, but they can only do so much. We either keep having a few hundred thousand dollars worth of damage every year, or we do something mechanical about it to stem the tide.


  7. Tue 13th Jan 2009 at 2:37 pm

    The trouble with security cameras is the “target” you are taping. You can’t just run it at night, as evidenced by this latest smear (authorities feel it was done during the day at low visitation hours). Imagine how much video will be recorded on an average day in July?

    Video cameras are passive and defensive in nature. Good evidence to use after the act has been committed. Or at best if someone is monitoring full time, can dispatch resources as the vandalism happens. The only deterrent factor is a sign telling the bad guys the camera is running. Do we really need more signs at Gettysburg?

    I think in the end, the situation calls for more uniformed personnel on patrol, or some volunteer organization augmenting those already patroling. Unfortunately, the costs associated with that solution are fairly steep.

  8. Tue 13th Jan 2009 at 7:05 pm

    This is disgraceful. I featured it, on my blog, yesterday. It amazes me that people damage a memorial, that is very much a part of the American Fabric. Let’s pray they catch him, her or them – and that maybe justice, such as Eric’s is given to them.

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