After standing watch over Bridgeton (NJ) City Park for nearly a century, the statue of a Union solider finally fell victim to the enemy last month.
Except it wasn’t a Southern counterpart which lopped off the head of Bridgeton’s silent stone sentinel and damaged other parts of the monument, but vandals.
Now, residents of the southern New Jersey community are trying to both track down the culprit and raise funds to restore the statue, erected in 1915 in honor of Co. K of the 12th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
They’ve created a YouTube video as part of their efforts to generate money. Estimates are it could cost between $10,000 and $75,000 to repair the monument, said Rich Mendoza of nearby Vorhees, NJ.
“It’s not very often that I’ve particularly seen anything like this, but it happens,” Mendoza told The News of Cumberland County. “It’s probably just kids who don’t realize the consequences. But to see this is terrible.”
Bridgeton mayor Albert B. Kelly said there is $1,000 in the crimestoppers fund to be used to track down the perpetrators of the desecration.