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Fallen soldiers plaque stolen for scrap?

September 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is shock and outrage in Riverside, where someone stole a bronze plaque dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers from a local veterans' group.VFW Post 9223 in Riverside is filled with mementos from its members. The lobby holds pictures, plaques and uniforms.

However, perhaps one of the most important items is a bronze memorial plaque honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. However, that plaque is gone, possibly ripped off by thieves. Some believe the crooks were simply after its value as scrap metal.

"It was a bronze plaque ... And it was dedicated to the guys that gave everything in the war," said Byron Werner, VFW employee.

Werner was the one who discovered the damage Tuesday morning.

"It made me very, very angry that somebody would do that to the veterans of foreign wars. Very angry. It just ... These people that have given everything for their country, and then for someone just to do this," said Werner.

Folks at the VFW say it's going to cost about $5,000 to replace the plaque.

"I'm pretty mad. Yeah, I'm pretty mad," said Post Commander Ed Paulus.

Paulus was a World War II P.O.W. for five years.

"Bring it back," said Paulus. "You know, no questions asked. Definitely, no questions asked."

When asked how much emotional value the plaque has to the VFW post, Paulus said, "The dollar amount doesn't mean anything. Dollar amount doesn't mean a darn thing. It's the emotional. You know, a lot of people paid the ultimate sacrifice. And that's a lot to give, versus $40 of brass."

Others have a warning for those who may try to buy the plaque, even if it only is for a few bucks.

"Any scrap dealer that accepts this, to me, is just as guilty as the guy who took it," said Werner.

 

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