Just Before Memorial Day, WWI Statue Destroyed
POSTED: 10:02 pm EDT May 21, 2008
UPDATED: 9:53 am EDT May 22, 2008
ANDERSON, S.C. -- Just a few days before Memorial Day, a World War I memorial was smashed, apparently by thieves looking for scrap metal.
The doughboy statue outside the Anderson American Legion building was reduced to rubble. The statue was originally erected to honor the men who served in World War One, but over the years has symbolized the sacrifices made by service men and women in wars and conflicts since.
For local veterans, the loss of the statue is devastating.
"I'm overwhelmed -- completely overwhelmed," said Marty Hoag, who was once the commander at the American Legion post. He was there eight years ago when the doughboy statue had to be replaced, also due to vandalism.
Robert Rainey carefully picked up the pieces of the statue left behind. He paid thousands of dollars for the doughboy, as it's called, to be replaced last time.
Police believe vandals may have thought the statue contained copper.
"This particular doughboy is made of zinc and really has no metallic or metal value," Rainey said.
There are only three statues of the doughboy left in South Carolina. Only 130 exist nationwide.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Anderson Police.