Plymouth Rock Vandalized Right Before 400th Anniversary
Residents of Plymouth, Massachusetts awoke to Plymouth Rock, the monument marking the landing spot of the Mayflower, covered in red spray paint right before a scheduled celebration for the 400th anniversary of the pilgrim’s arrival to the “new world.”
The rock, which draws more than a million visitors each year, was defaced with the letters “MOF” and the numbers “508.” Other monuments vandalized included a sign celebrating the anniversary, the National Monument to the Forefathers, the Pilgrim Maiden statue, and a bench that honors the daughters of the colonists who arrived in Plymouth on the ship Anne in 1623.
Plymouth Town Manager Melissa G. Arrighi said that after discovering the graffiti, she felt “outrage. It was disappointment. It was disgust. The level of disrespect and not caring about public property and the historic community, it’s shocking.”
This is not the first time that the rock has been vandalized. In 2014, vandals painted the word, “lies” on the monument. A state spokesman told The Boston Globe that “this kind of thing happens two to five times a year.”
“Why? Why? Why would someone do this?” citizen Gayle Manning asked as she looked down at the vandalized rock.
Police Chief Michael Botieri claims that there does not appear to be any political connection to the graffiti, despite its occurrence on Presidents Day in the year 2020, 400 years after pilgrims first stepped on the continent.
Plymouth Rock has been the site of political demonstrations before. United American Indians of New England holds a remembrance each Thanksgiving Day since 1970 to recall, “the genocide of millions of native people, the theft of native lands and the relentless assault on native culture.”
Maintenance crews from the town and the state cleaned the graffiti with power washers and a solvent that was used to clean previous vandalism.
A local man, Kevin Depathy, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a reward to catch the vandals, with a goal of $2,000.
“This was the worst case of vandalism the town has ever seen,” Depathy told The Hill.
— Kimberly Bookman (@KimberlyBookman) February 17, 2020