A memorial in Derbyshire, UK, has been vandalized, just days after the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore, due to IRA graffiti causing outrage among locals.
A silhouette statue of a 100-year-old who died in February was erected after raising tens of millions of pounds for the NHS during the first Covid-19 lockdown of 2020.
Anthony Ball, head of the Dove Valley Community Project that manages the park where the memorial is located, said he discovered the damage on Wednesday, December 29.
«What I don’t understand is that you have a small memorial in memory of those who lost their lives, Tommy [from the Royal British Legion]’ he told Derbyshire Live.
“Why did they bribe Captain Tom? What does it have to do with the IRA?”
«I was almost physically ill when I saw it,» he continued.
“Every day I take a walk, I walked around the corner, looked at him and was almost physically ill. I touched it with my hand thinking it was something that would wipe off, and it was paint spray.”
“I almost understood if someone had sprayed a war memorial or a soldier, but not Captain Tom walking down the street.”
He told the publication that he got a garbage bag to cover the memorial because he «can’t leave it» displayed as is, and warned vandals not to damage it again.
«If you keep painting it, we’ll clean it up. If you damage it, we have the resources to fix it. If you remove it, we’ll put a new one in its place.»
«By continuing with your actions you greatly increase our chances of catching you. Sir Tom is now fully cleaned and continues to lift the spirits of all who need him during these times.»
The memorial has since been repaired by the engineering company that erected the memorial, and the incident has not been reported to the police.
Captain Tom served in the British Army during World War II.
He rose to fame in 2020 after amassing over £30m for the NHS by walking 100 laps in his nursing home in Marston Moretain, Bedfordshire.
On his 100th birthday, the ex-officer received more than 150,000 birthday cards.
He was also made an honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College before being knighted by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
He died in February 2021 after being hospitalized with pneumonia before testing positive for Covid-19.
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