What happened to Dawson Vets memorial? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What happened to Dawson Vets memorial?


Police are investigating damage to a veteran's memorial in Dawson. They're trying to figure out if the damage was caused by vandals or an accident, and folks want answers.

A local Masonic Lodge commissioned the veterans memorial in 2001, including the names of veterans of foreign wars. Part of that wall collapsed, and it likely didn't fall on its on.

"We don't know whether it was an accident or an act of vandalism," said Dawson Police Chief Charlie Whitehead.

He says officers were called to the wall October 15th,  at 3:45 in the afternoon. It also stands just off busy Highway 82 where passerby drivers may have seen something.

"Hopefully somebody did. We are offering a reward," said the chief.

The wall was erected and kept up by members of the local P. T. Schley Masonic Lodge to honor local war vets. Lodge members have put years of work and money into the wall. They and veterans alike hope this wasn't done on purpose.

"From just talking to the general public, people are concerned. Being a veteran, I have a soft spot in my heart about that memorial wall. I would hate to see it was vandalism," said Whitehead.

A police report indicated that city workers had been cutting grass in the area with a tractor but found no visible tire marks to indicate it may have backed into the wall. As for a cave in, "It's highly unlikely it feel on it's own,"  the chief said.

But for those who fought and came home and those who didn't this wall has a lot of meaning. Whoever or whatever caused the damage is something they hope will come to surface as the Mason's look to rebuild.

And that section of the wall could cost upwards of $5,000 to replace. A member of the Masons says they're looking to see if insurance will cover it. Of course if it doesn't that could mean help from the community.

Last May vandals desecrated the Vietnam Memorial at Veteran's Park in Albany.  If you have any information on the Dawson case, you're asked to call Dawson Police.

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