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Vandal spray-painted 'Taliban' on 9/11 memorial in South Carolina, authorities say

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 14/09/2021 Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
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Authorities say a vandal defaced a 9/11 memorial in South Carolina over the weekend with the word "Taliban" spray-painted on two granite pillars meant to symbolize the Twin Towers. 

The Greenville County Sheriff's Office said the incident unfolded around 7:30 a.m. local time near the Greeneville, South Carolina, area outside Upstate Granite Solutions, a local granite business, on Sept. 12 — one day after the country marked 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks

Deputies were able to obtain surveillance footage showing a suspect vandalizing the memorial. The footage showed the suspect pulling up to the business in a gray SUV, the sheriff's office said.

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No arrests have been made but the sheriff's office is investigating.. 

The granite statue is made of two towers, each weighing 4,000 pounds with a light beam, according to WYFF-TV. The damage, which featured the word "Taliban" being spray painted in blue twice on the large memorial, was cleaned up Sunday morning after it was discovered and reported, said Paul Nichols, founder and CEO of Upstate Granite Solutions.

a group of people on a field: A 9-11 memorial was vandalized outside a local business in Greenville with someone spray painting the words "Taliban" on it, deputies say © Greenville County Sheriff's Office A 9-11 memorial was vandalized outside a local business in Greenville with someone spray painting the words "Taliban" on it, deputies say

More on 9-11: On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, America honors the memory of those who were lost: 'We remember'

'It doesn't get easier': Grief at Ground Zero still palpable 20 years after 9/11

His granite company constructed the memorial, which is surrounded by 1,000 American flags, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S. The words "NEVER FORGET" were also on display in front of the memorial. 

"This monument is meant to show the community how much we care and to offer our support to our military and our first responders and let people know there’s still something to believe in America," said Kelly Nichols of Upstate Granite Solutions.

Nichols said hundreds of people visited the memorial Saturday night. Photos show the memorial lit up red, white and blue and two light beams directed in the sky. 

Contributing: The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vandal spray-painted 'Taliban' on 9/11 memorial in South Carolina, authorities say

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