A granite memorial in the shape of the twin towers was vandalized on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when someone spray-painted “Taliban” on both sides of the tribute.
Upstate Granite Solutions of Greenville, North Carolina, created the monument in order to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. Owners of the company were upset to learn that a vandal had spray-painted “Taliban,” on several areas of the structure at some point during the evening of September 11.
The vandalism was reported to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, which completed a report early morning on Sunday, September 12. After the report was filed, the company successfully removed the spray paint from the granite tribute though owners are still upset.
CEO and co-founder of Upstate Granite Solutions Paul Nichols expressed the motivation behind the tribute in an interview with WSPA. “We spent the time and money on this monument in order to bring our community together and unite over the memory of those who died on the attacks 20 years ago, as well as, those first responders who willingly laid down their lives to serve others,” Nichols said.
Another employee of the company, Kelly Nichols informed WYFF of her feelings on the vandalism. “We’re not going to change our viewpoint and our stance, but I think we need to be willing to hear why other people are hurt about this, so we can come together as a community,” Kelly Nichols explained. “This wasn’t meant to be divisive. This was meant to unify us.”
Kelly went on to add that “this monument is meant to show the community how much we care and to offer our support to our military and our first responders and let people know there’s still something to believe in in America.”
Upstate Granite Solutions wrote that it, “takes more than a little spray paint to destroy our spirit of patriotism,” in a Facebook post regarding the incident.
The tribute is located out front of the Upstate Granite Solutions building and features two 4,000 pound towers that stand 13 feet tall. It also showcases a light beam that can be seen from 25 miles away. One thousand American flags surround the memorial.