9/11 Memorial Vandalized At Southern California College

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Annabel Scott Contributor
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Vandals at Occidental College defaced a 9/11 memorial set up by a student Republican club on Sunday.

The memorial, a part of the Young America’s Foundation 9/11: Never Forget Project, consisted of 2,997 small American flags planted in the ground in honor of the lives lost on September 11.

The Occidental College Republicans took to Facebook to explain the details of the vandalism:

Not only did the vandals crush, snap, and throw every flag in the garbage, they also hung flyers shaming the victims of 9/11 around the memorial site. The flyers stated: “R.I.P. to 2,000 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P. the 1,455, 590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do”.

Occidental sophomore Alan Bliss told The College Fix that upon discovering the destroyed memorial late Saturday night, he was confronted by three students accusing him of white privilege and ignorance. They also claimed the display was ‘triggering.’

Bliss explained that as word of the memorial’s destruction spread on social media, students and members of the Occidental College Republicans left their beds and came together to replace the thousands of flags on the campus quad.

The destruction of the memorial didn’t stop there. As members of the club stood guard around the memorial Sunday morning, four Occidental students purposely snapped some of the flags in their faces.

“This is beyond politics, this is about those lives that were so tragically taken,” the club stated on Facebook. “We ask that all students respect the memorial for the remainder of its time in the quad. If you try to destroy it, we will rebuild it.

In an email obtained by The College Fix, acting dean of students Erica O’Neal Howard addressed the Occidental community on the acts of vandalism. “We don’t yet know who is responsible for this incident, but the College is investigating and will take appropriate disciplinary action.”

“Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment. The right and freedom to debate complex, contentious issues and disagree with each other is fundamental to what we do at Oxy. At the same time, we may not express ourselves in ways that prevent others from engaging in protected speech,” she wrote. “… Vandalism or other acts that substantially interfere with the rights of others to engage in protected speech violate the College’s Student Code of Conduct and the spirit of this institution. Let us work together to find ways to express ourselves and build a community founded on respect.”