Vandals damage memorials to veterans, 9/11 responders

Long Island news from Eyewitness News

July 11, 2012 12:34:13 PM PDT
It's blatant and callous. One young man spray paints the side of Island Trees High School in Levittown while the other films the whole thing.

By daylight, it wasn't only the school that was vandalized, but also two memorials in front. They have since been repainted.

The memorials are dedicated to veterans and two 9/11 responders who went to the high school and died in the line of duty.

"Levittown is very patriotic. As you know it was built by vets for vets and to have that, we were very upset," Charles Murphy, Levittown School District Superintendent, said.

No one knows vandals are. By daylight, you could see the word Plainedge, the name of a nearby high school, scrawled on the building.

"I'm not sure if these graffiti artists were from Plainedge or some local kids

Memorials require years of planning. An alum of the high school, who spearheaded the effort to build these memorials, was also battling cancer at the same time.

"I was making phone calls at the hospital. I wanted this done," Nicholas Tonno, project leader, said.

Tonno has been battling lymphoma for nine years. He undertook the projects a few years ago in between chemotherapy sessions he would reach out to alumni and raise money to build the memorials

So to see this vandalism, he says was absolutely heartbreaking. Tonno hopes someone recognizes the kids and reports them to police, although he thinks jail time may be a little stiff.

"I really would rather see them do community service for a year and then let them know what our community is all about," he said.

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