Correction appended: Sept. 26, 2012.
The recently-opened Lt. Michael P. Murphy/Penn State Veterans Plaza was vandalized Monday, after marks from bicycle tires were made on the right panels of the memorial.
The Penn State Office of Physical Plant first noticed the marks and notified Penn State Police at about 8:30 a.m. Monday, OPP Spokesman Alex Novak wrote in an email.
Novak also said that the incident has been filed with police and that it is considered an act of vandalism.
Police could not be reached for comment as of press time Monday.
The marks appear on about three and a half panels to the right of the Greek writing, with a few faint marks closer to the middle of the plaza.
Novak wrote OPP is reviewing options for cleaning the tire tracks off the wall. Novak added that the university is “outraged and disappointed at this defacing of a monument to our nation's bravest.”
Some students took it upon themselves to clean up the Plaza, including Carl Chindblom (sophomore-sociology), who served in the U.S. Army for five years and is currently a member of the Penn State University Veterans Organization.
Chindblom wrote in email he first saw that the Plaza was vandalized on Facebook, and within minutes organized with other Penn State veterans to clean up the area.
“When I saw the marks on the plaza in person I was outraged and felt the need to do my best to remove the blemishes on such a great memorial,” Chindblom wrote. “As a veteran, I remember the sacrifices made by my brothers and sisters in arms everyday, and to have our Veterans Plaza defaced saddens me that people did not think of the importance of this symbol.”
Penn State student Janee Minor said she saw the vandalism early Monday evening.
“It’s horrible,” Minor (junior-kinesiology) said. “This is for a person or people who served our country and they’re the reason why we’re able to do what we do today.”
Penn State Veteran’s Organization President Corey Lonberger wrote in an email that he hopes whoever did the act comes forward and turns themselves in.
“It's a shame that anyone would purposefully damage anything here on campus, especially a memorial dedicated to a Penn State alumni that was awarded the highest decoration any person in this country can receive,” Lonberger wrote.
Corey Punko (sophomore-civil engineering), who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005-2010, said he was sad to hear that someone could have vandalized something to represent the veterans on campus.
“It really hurts,” Punko said. “The veterans on campus finally had a mark on the school and I’m upset that someone’s got to go and trash it.”
Collegian staff writer Sarah Peters contributed to this report.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the language of the writing on the plaza. The writing on the plaza’s panels is in Greek.The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error.