Defaced 9/11 Memorial in South Carolina Draws Outrage

by Clayton Edwards

Twenty years have passed since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. During that time, our country has changed several times in countless ways. Today, we are more divided than we have been in generations. The division runs so deep that Americans are defacing memorials put in place to honor the memories of other Americans. A granite 9/11 memorial in Greenville, South Carolina is just one of many that have been defaced this year.

Upstate Granite Solutions unveiled its massive 9/11 memorial on September eighth. It features two granite slabs shaped to look like the Twin Towers. Each stone pillar contains a light that shines into the sky. These lights can be seen from miles around. Additionally, the memorial is surrounded by small American flags. The company posted this video on Facebook on the afternoon of the eleventh. It shows the monument during the day as well as its powerful beams at night. It’s a truly magnificent display.

Late Saturday night, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, someone came and vandalized the memorial. The vandal came under the cover of darkness to spray paint “Taliban,” in two different places on the granite.

Luckily, employees from Upstate Granite Solutions were able to clean the paint off the smooth stone. However, they didn’t do so until after filing a police report. Greenville PD is currently looking into the incident.

Upstate Granite Speaks Out About Their Defaced 9/11 Memorial

Paul Nichols, the founder, and CEO of the company spoke to a local CBS affiliate about their 9/11 memorial. About the display, he said, “We spent the time and money on this monument in order to bring our community together and unite over the memory of those who died in the attacks 20 years ago, as well as, those first responders who willingly laid down their lives to serve others.”

Kelly Nichols of Upstate Granite Solutions spoke to a local NBC affiliate. Nichols stated that they wanted people to look at their monument and know that there is still something to believe in here in America.

Even after such a disrespectful act, the folks at Upstate Granite Solutions are taking the high road. Nichols told the NBC affiliate that their stance on community unification hasn’t changed. Kelly said the company won’t change its viewpoint. Instead, they want to hear others’ opinions. Nichols added that by hearing and understanding why someone would want to deface their 9/11 memorial, they could continue to build a unified community.

Kelly added that they did not mean to create more division in the community with their monument. Instead, Kelly echoed Paul Nichols’ statement, saying, “This was meant to unify us.”

Folks like Paul and Kelly Nichols are proof that there is, indeed, still something left to believe in here in America.