Elwood Police Investigate Vandalism Of Monument Honoring LGBT Veterans

Elwood Police are investigating vandalism to a monument, which was dedicated to LGBT veterans, distorted earlier this month at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, officials said.

The Vandalism

The granite monument was distorted with a black, tar-like substance, cemetery officials said.

On June this year, 16 visitors at the cemetery’s Memorial Walkway found the markings stuck on the monument, the site of the monument, said Sean Baumgartner, director of the national cemetery.

Elwood Mayor Todd Matichak said Friday he did not identify any suspects in custody and declined to provide further information and details about the case.

“To purposely have that in your mind to do is just horrible,” commented Baumgartner on the incident. “The circumstances, it looked like a deliberate thing, obviously.”

Cemetery crews set out to remove the tar markings immediately, he said.

“There’s some slight discoloration, and we’re going to fix that.” he added.

Baumgartner said Gast Memorial will issue new lithochrome lettering.

Bamgartner speculates that the cost estimation for repairs will be around $100-$500, which the cemetery will pay despite the fact there were no cost estimations sent to him.

The monument, on the other hand, cost $18,000, according to James Darby, president of the Chicago Chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights.

The monument which had been dedicated by the veteran group in May 2015, demonstrates symbols from all six branches of military service along with an upside down triangle, which is a universal symbol for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Honorable Monument

The monument features the message that reads, “Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have served honorably and admirably in America’s armed forces.”

“That took a lot of fundraising from a lot of people to raise the money,” Darby said.

Baumgartner said: “You need to leave your prejudices or whatever at the door. This isn’t the place for that.”