War memorial toppled at Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland
A moment honoring veterans of the Civil, Mexican-American, Spanish-American and Indian wars was toppled over and vandalized with graffiti on Thanksgiving eve, authorities say.
Portland Police Bureau officers responded to Lone Fir Cemetery, 649 S.E. 26th Ave., after the incident was reported by officials with the regional government, Metro, which owns and operates the graveyard.
According to a police report filed by Metro, the bronze statue was taken down sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25, and 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 26.
Known as "The Soldiers Monument," the statue was tipped over and its pedestal was spray painted.
"We are aware of the vandalism that occurred two nights ago at Lone Fir Cemetery and are assessing the damages," Metro said in a statement. "The Soldiers Monument was heavily damaged and was removed yesterday for the safety of visitors."
The statue was installed in 1903 at a cost of $3,500, per a history of the site by Multnomah County.
According to a narrative of the toppling posted by Rose City Counter Info and promoted online by the Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front, the statue was toppled by a small group using a strap tied around the soldier's neck. The figure was doused in paint after the fall.
"This shameless celebration of American imperialism, colonialism and genocide enshrined the image of a colonizing soldier in a grotesque display of nationalistic pride," the anonymous group wrote. "This particular bronze colonizer had stood on his feet for far too long, and this night would be a great night to change that."
Local anti-fascists have also toppled statues of presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in the Park Blocks, a statue of President George Washington near Sandy Boulevard and one of President Grant outside the high school that bears his name. A statue of York, a slave who accompanied the explorers Lewis and Clark, was voluntarily removed by the eponymously-named college.
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