Vandals Deface Inwood 9/11 Memorial on Thanksgiving Night

By Nigel Chiwaya on December 2, 2013 5:32pm | Updated on December 3, 2013 8:42am

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  The Sept. 11 memorial at Good Shepherd Church was spray-painted on Nov. 28.
Inwood 9/11 Memorial Vandalized
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INWOOD — Thanks for nothing.

Vandals armed with yellow spray paint on Thanksgiving night spray-painted a memorial to those who died during the Sept. 11 terror attacks — on display at an Inwood church, frustrated church leaders said.

Members of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Broadway and Isham Street discovered bright yellow spray paint all over their memorial garden, which features a cross made from World Trade Center steel and 25 memorial stones with the pictures and names of victims from the attacks on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

"I told everyone at the Mass and you could just hear the gasps," said the pastor of Good Shepherd, the Rev. Robert Abbatiello, who added that church members are struggling to understand why vandals would target the memorial.

"It's upsetting because we're a church, but also because that's a special place. It's just adding insult to injury."

The memorial, which was dedicated in June 2002, is open to the public 24 hours a day and is maintained by volunteers. In addition to the memorial, a roll-down gate at the Good Shepherd School was also spray painted.

The vandalism comes just a week after a thief tried to break into the church's poor boxes. Abbatiello said it's unclear if the incidents are connected.

Good Shepherd is not the only place to have been vandalized last week. Several buildings between 207th and 215th Streets and along Park Terrace East were tagged, and the brand new Inwood Gourmet shop had its security gate spray-painted on Nov. 26. 

The Good Shepherd garden has no security cameras, so church members aren't sure whether the vandalism was caused by one or several people, but Abbatiello is asking that anyone with information contact the 34th Precinct.

"Someone asked me what I would do if we found the person," Abbatiello said. "I'd just like to ask them, 'Why?'"

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