Installed only a few weeks ago, a large American flag and a mural that local schoolchildren created under a Glendale railroad trestle was damaged by vandals during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Residents and Assemblyman Mike Miller reported that someone punched large holes into both the 20-foot-long flag and the artwork that had been propped up on plywood against the retaining walls of the trestle at the corner of 75th and St. Felix avenues.
It’s not yet known exactly when the vandalism occurred, or how many vandals were involved in the act. Nevertheless, the episode drew the ire of local residents and those involved in the project, who called for the persons responsible to be prosecuted.
According to Miller, the flag and artwork were created by students involved in an after-school program that the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) oversees at nearby P.S. 68. A sign bearing the young artists’ names was also installed — and destroyed by the unidentified vandals.
“It’s an absolutely deliberate act,” GRYC President Bob Monahan told QNS in an interview on Nov. 27. “Those kids worked so damn hard on it, I can’t even begin to tell you. It’s just not right.”
Michael and Julia Sileo, who reside near the trestle, were similarly disgusted by the vandalism. They contacted Miller’s office and the NYPD after spotting the damage over the weekend.
“I can view it from my bedroom window. When the light reflected on it, it was beautiful,” Michael Sileo said of the flag and artwork. “When they do that to the flag, it disturbs me very much.”
Miller, who helped make it possible for the flag and artwork to be installed under the railroad bridge, vowed that efforts would be made to repair the damage.
“We’re going to try and fix it as best as we can,” said Miller, who condemned the vandalism as “a cowardly act by idiots.”
Police sources said the incident is being investigated. Monahan and Miller are hopeful that businesses near the trestle may have captured images of the perpetrators on security cameras.
Anyone with information about the vandalism can call the 104th Precinct at 718-386-3004.