Sandy Hook vandalism struck a memorial playground over the weekend. The Connecticut playground, located inside of Hartford's Elizabeth Park, is dedicated to a 6-year-old female victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting – Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. The purple “Ana Grace” entryway sign was tagged with spray paint.
Connecticut police are looking into the vandalism, but say the actual damage was minor and the writing has since been removed from the sign. Someone close to Ana Grace’s family reportedly cleaned up the graffiti, WFSB.com reported. While the graffiti was unsightly, the message appeared to be some sort of effort to remember the young victim. The marker left on the sign had the letters “B-E-K-S,” a peace sign, the number two and then “Sandy Hook.”
“It looked like they were doing something to memorialize her, but to me it's still vandalism and wasn't meant to be,” parent Nicole King told WFSB.com. Fellow parent Charlotte Mansfield, whose children play there, agreed. “Hopefully they can find something out because it shouldn't happen to playgrounds where kids are playing, especially if it's in memory of someone. You need things like that in the community, so for them to do that is kind of sad,” Mansfield added.
In December of 2012, Adam Lanza committed the deadliest mass shooting at a high school or grade school in U.S. history, and the second-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. Killed in the Sandy Hook massacre were 20 children and 6 adults.
Since the shooting, 26 playgrounds are to be erected – one to honor each of the victims that lost their life that day. The Ana Grace playground was the 18th playground built as part of the “Sandy Ground Project.” The cost to build the play area was approximately $100,000, NBC Washington reported.
Reports the Inquisitr: “Ana Grace’s playground was purple (her favorite color) and was covered in her artwork. The playground was opened to the public on April 4 — the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on what would have been Ana Grace’s birthday.”
Parents were saddened to see that the sign was defaced. While some believe that the graffiti wasn’t meant to be derogatory, the marking of the sign was still inappropriate.