National World War I Museum vandalized by graffiti

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An act of vandalism didn't stop the crowds from visiting the National World War I Museum Sunday, but it did anger some of the visitors. Police say someone tagged the north wall of the museum, facing Pershing Road, sometime overnight Friday.

Officers met with security personnel after receiving the call. They say someone marked in red paint the words “terrorist” and “enough,” as well as the phrase “no soldiers no war.”

Steve Haith volunteered to clean off the graffiti. He showed up with a pressure-washing truck Sunday afternoon.

“I grew up here; I take friends and family here, out-of-town guests here. It made me sick; to defile this beautiful memorial, the only one in the nation. It’s the right thing to do. It’s my privilege to do it, and it’s duty and honor to the city,” said Haith.

Vietnam veteran Mike Cathey visited the museum Sunday with his daughter.

“This is a public place. It’s for everybody to see, to learn, and to vandalize is just sickening,” said Cathey.

His daughter, Rachel Meuschke, said, “Freedom of speech is one thing but whenever you’re going to vandalize a national museum, then you should probably not. You just shouldn't do stuff like that. It’s not okay.”

Museum officials did not want to go on camera but issued the following statement from the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor:

While we certainly value everyone’s right to freedom of speech, we’re obviously disappointed that individuals would choose to express their views by desecrating one of our country’s most sacred memorials. We have already turned over security footage to the Kansas City Police Department to assist with their investigation and we will work swiftly to ensure that the north wall of the memorial is returned to its proper state.”

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