PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — The historic Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay was vandalized recently, and investigators are asking the public for information leading to those responsible.
An unknown person or persons climbed a six-foot high chain-link fence to block off a construction area on or about May 13. The memorial has been undergoing renovations since April and is closed to the public for the remainder of the year.
Special agents with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch and U.S. Park Rangers are investigating the incident. Superintendent Barbara Fearon declined to say what the specific acts of vandalism were or what was damaged, citing the open investigation. She also would not disclose if the memorial has any form of security or cameras.
“As a national park, our mission is to protect and preserve these special places so they’re available for the enjoyment of every American and international visitor,” Ms. Fearon said. “So when something like this happens, especially at a place of remembrance and sacrifice, it’s very disheartening.”
The memorial is the final resting place for six officers who died during the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The three Americans and three British were interred Sept. 11, 1813.
Ms. Fearon said renovations to the 352-foot tall structure were only delayed a short time. Work to re-point the granite column and replace broken tile inside the memorial is still scheduled to be completed by the end of December.
Ms. Fearon said repairs will be done to fix the vandalism, although she wasn’t sure how much it would cost. She added this isn’t the first time the memorial has been hit by vandals.
“A few years ago, the benches on the upper plaza of the memorial were turned over,” she said. “And we had some spray painting on the water side. That kind of activity has been low-level and the damage has been repairable.”
Investigators are asking the public to share any information they have on the crime. A $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Tips may be sent anonymously by calling the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009; sending a text message to 202-379-4761; visiting nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip”; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or by messaging via Facebook to @InvestigativeServicesNPS or on Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS.
“Hopefully, the people responsible for this understand the gravity of their actions,” Ms. Fearon said.