Smithtown veteran's memorial removed, thrown away

Kristin Thorne reports from Smithtown.
October 14, 2013 2:50:32 PM PDT
A memorial to honor a Long Island soldier was thrown away.

It was removed and trashed.

It included personal items like something he was wearing when he was killed.

His family wants to know why.

"It was important to us. Every time I pass there I cross myself," said Rose Marie Byrne, mother.

It was the last sort of connection the Byrne's had to their son Seamus.

It was a memorial on the bottom of a village sign marking where the veteran was hit and killed by a car on Main Street two years ago.

A few weeks ago the family noticed the memorial was gone.

Strangely though, the one right next to it to an 11-year-old girl also killed crossing the street was never touched.

A supervisor with the Village of the Branch said he removed Byrne's memorial because it had been ruined in a storm.

He told the family that everything was in a box and to come pick it up at village hall.

When they got there everything else was gone.

"He deserves a hell of a lot more than this," said Oliver Byrne, father.

Eyewitness News called the village supervisor and said that he put all the memorial items in a box in his garage and that it accidentally got thrown out.

The village mayor had no comment.

"It's sad what they've done," Oliver Byrne said.

The Byrne's say they're going to fight to have Seamus' name put on this permanent veteran's memorial just up the street.

"I think he deserves it," Rose Marie Byrne said.