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BRATTLEBORO — A veterans monument is cleared of graffiti.

Brattleboro Public Works Director Steve Barrett told the Reformer a staff member from the town's recreation and parks department cleaned the paint off at about 9:30 a.m. Monday.

"Righting a wrong," Select Board Chairman Tim Wessel wrote on Facebook, sharing a photograph of the cleaning.

The monument is on the Common on Park Place, where annual Memorial Day ceremonies are held near the Brattleboro Retreat and courthouse. Panels facing the street feature names of Brattleboro citizens who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Graffiti spray painted on the backside of the panels read: "+65. POCs Lives Matter Too." POC is used as an abbreviation for people of color.

On Sunday, Town Manager Peter Elwell said the incident would be investigated by police. Brattleboro Police Chief Michael Fitzgerald had no update on Monday.

Town recreation staff, recreation board members and local newspapers received an email from an unnamed author at about 3 a.m. Sunday containing proposals "to amend local neglect against People of Color."

"Pay to update the Civil War Memorial with the missing 65 names of Soldiers of Color and a 2020 year marker," states a list of "motions" in the email, which contained a link to an article by the Brattleboro Historical Society published by the Reformer. "The site to be added to the AfroVermont Heritage Trail. For the Brooks Memorial Library to carry 'Men of Color, To Arms! Vermont African-Americans in the Civil War' by James Fuller. $16,200 owed of the 54 enlisted bounty law contracts in terms of 1863, now equivalent in purchasing power to about $331,862 is motioned to be paid to Organizations by People of Color, when no surviving relatives accept direct deposit, $6,145.60 per family from municipal funds."

The email adds, "Choosing silence of identity erasure is committing genocide."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com and at @CMaysBR on Twitter.

PHOTO GALLERY: https://mng-nenivt.smugmug.com/Cleaning-the-war-memorial-050420/

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