Vandals cause thousands in damage to Belmar WWI statue

Posted: Updated:
BELMAR -

Vandals caused thousands of dollars of damage to a nearly 90-year-old World War I memorial statue in Belmar.

The "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue was shifted off its foundation and part of the rifle was broken.

The statue depicts an infantryman walking with a rifle and a grenade. The town erected the statue back in 1930 along Railroad Avenue next to Route 35.

"More than likely it's some adolescents, possibly who don't really understand or value the significance of this statue,” says Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. “It's 2017, which is the centennial of when America went to war."

The damage comes roughly a decade after the statue was last refurbished by donors throughout the town.

The Belmar Historical Society is now accepting donations to repair the damaged memorial.

The doughboy was a mass-produced war monument honoring those who died in World War I. There are 136 other identical doughboy statues across the United States.

The Associated press wire services contributed to this report.

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