AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A glass panel on the Colorado Freedom Memorial was shattered over the weekend.
The founder, Rick Crandall, noticed the damage Monday morning as he was sprucing it up for Independence Day.
“Something, right? Of all the times for it to happen,” he said.
After looking at the impact point and considering the strength of the glass, Crandall is all but certain this was deliberate.
And the cost to fix it, roughly $55,000.
“It had to take some force to do that, so it’s not likely a pebble or something else would have done it,” Crandall said.
Navy Veteran Albert Foxworthy has been visiting the memorial since it’s been in place since 2013.
Six thousand names of those killed in action since Colorado became a state are on the memorial.
“Benner, Robert Benner,” Foxworthy said pointing to the name etched in the glass. “He’s my uncle. He was killed in World War I.”
He agrees with Crandall about the damage being vandalism, and had some choice words for whoever is responsible.
“I got good words, like I say, if they ever catch up with the low life … I hope they find him,” Foxworthy said.
As angry as he was to see the damage, Foxworthy said it could have been worse.
“I’m happy to see it was an empty panel,” he said.
Aurora police cannot say for sure the damage was caused by vandals, but they are investigating and offering up to $2,000 for information about what happened.
As for Foxworthy, and other patriots like him, they’ve already made up their minds.
Veteran Ernest Burgess shook his head in disbelief when he saw the shattered glass.
“It kind of hurts me. I mean, especially since I’m a retired veteran,” Burgess said.
Debbie Couret also visited the memorial on Monday and can’t believe this would happen so close to Independence Day.
“It makes me angry. It makes me said,” she said.
The memorial is insured, but Crandall says they likely won’t get enough money to replace the panel.
“We still need help raising money, in addition to the replacement of the panel, to cover the ongoing operations and maintenance for the memorial, so I would encourage everyone to go to www.cfmf.net to donate or make a check out to the Colorado Freedom Memorial and send it to P.O. Box 472333, Aurora, Colorado 80047-2333,” said Diane Crandall.
A GoFundMe page is now up to help with the repair costs.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.