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UPDATE: Purple Heart monument damaged at Veterans Memorial Park

A monument honoring Purple Heart recipients was found damaged this morning.

Police say, the Purple Heart monument at Veterans Memorial Park Was knocked off its base by vandals.
A city parks employee told officers the last time he saw the monument in its original condition was last Wednesday, and that he discovered the damage yesterday.
The employee also told police a man who often visits the park said he saw four men push the monument over.
   
As Channel Three's Jenise Fernandez explains, this isn't the first time the monument has been vandalized.

Yellow caution tape now surrounds the Purple Heart monument at Veterans Memorial Park.
Police believe someone intentionally knocked it over.
And now they're trying to figure out why someone would do this.

Veterans Memorial Park is surrounded with monuments honoring soldiers who've risked their lives.
Located near Wall South, close to the center of the park,  is the Purple Heart monument recognizing those who have been awarded the nation's oldest military decoration.
Purple Heart recipients  were either wounded or killed in war.

"It's about recognizing an intangible fashion what these people have given to the service of their country,"

It's personal for Marcus Michles the Second.
A veteran himself, he donated the Purple Heart monument with a special inscription dedicating it to his father.
His father, a Vietnam veteran, was awarded the Purple Heart. He was wounded in war and is now disabled.

"We've had a hot and cold relationship over the history of our live, but I wanted him to know I appreciated what he's done and the sacrifices he made for this country"

Police visited Michles at work to  personally tell him what happened.
And this isn't the first time someone damaged the monument.
A few years back, someone spray painted it.

"Regardless of what your politics are... you need to express yourself in a different manner."

With Pensacola being  a military town, many were disappointed someone would intentionally damage the monument.

Eric Frank
"It's just a true shame and I hope they find the parties who did this."

Randy Thompson
"I think it's more hurtful than surprising... people who re upset about all kinds of issues."

Police Chief, Chip Simmons, says he can't imagine why someone would do this, but he plans to do everything he can to figure out who is responsible.
Reporting in Pensacola, Jenise Fernandez, Channel Three News.

If you know anything about what happened you're asked to call the police or Crime Stoppers at 433-STOP.



Read complete Pensacola Police Press release