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Vandals hit site of memorial to Old Man of the Mountain
FRANCONIA NOTCH – Vandals have struck at the memorial site that honors the Old Man of the Mountain and armed forces veterans, leaving graffiti on a granite bench and destroying an interpretive sign.
The damage at the Old Man of the Mountain Profiler Plaza, along with the theft of two American flags from the veterans' memorial stone and two-thirds of the interpretive sign in front of the Old Man's turnbuckle, was discovered around noon Monday by a craftsman working at the site.
“We were able to erase the graffiti,” said Dick Hamilton, chair of the Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, who added, “It's astonishing to me that anyone would defile a memorial to the Old Man, or the veterans' memorial. I hope that's the first and only time.” He said they found about a third of the interpretive sign, but the rest is missing.
Hamilton said they notified the Franconia Police and the Franconia Notch State Park headquarters. He noted that the plaza drew many visitors this summer, with 600 visitors counted on a Saturday in August, and even on Monday while he was at the site, 20 people visited.
Work on the paver stones continues, he said, as they try to finish up for the season before the cold weather sets in.
Chief John Monaghan of the Franconia Police Department said anyone with information that could be helpful in finding the vandals should call 823-7025 and leave a message.
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