A memorial honoring veterans at the Moreno Valley Civic Center was lit on fire in an apparent arson Saturday morning.

The fire was reported at 5 a.m. and charred the landscaping around the “Fallen Soldier” bronze sculpture, which depicts an M16 rifle standing barrel-down between a pair of military boots with a combat helmet resting on top.

“The city of Moreno Valley and the county have launched an arson investigation to find the perpetrator responsible for the Veterans Memorial vandalization. We will find the party responsible for this crime and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said in a statement posted to social media.

The names of military veterans are inscribed around the memorial’s sculpture, which was dedicated in 2007 and cost $1.3 million, according to the city’s website.

“Defacing our memorial is not only the destruction of gov. property but also an attack on our veterans and fallen service members who have honorably served our country. In Moreno Valley, we fight for our veterans and will not rest until this criminal has been brought to justice,” Gutierrez wrote.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.