Veterans and residents in Bridgeton, New Jersey, are planning a celebration to mark the restoration of their Civil War statue. The statue was beheaded last year.
Since the defacement, the city raised more than $11,000 from 57 donors, many of them veterans.
That was enough to fix the statue, surrounding landscape and add light fixtures to prevent future vandalism.
Bridgeton resident Kevin Rabago says it was important to restore the nearly 100-year-old statue, even though the Civil War happened so long ago.
“On one level, it’s an answer to the vandals,” he said. “On another level, it’s really about the unity and the bond of our veterans and really the respect that our whole community has for the men and women who serve.”
The celebration ceremony is set Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Cumberland County community’s Veterans Day observations. Mayor Albert Kelly will unveil the statue for rededication.
The culprits who beheaded the Bridgeton statue have not been found yet; the city is offering a reward for anyone who helps identify them.