MILBURY (CBS) — It’s a small crime that has a big impact on the hearts of veterans in the central Massachusetts town of Millbury.
Since last October, thieves have stolen several small bronze stars from the town’s war memorials.
They are a true symbol of service and can be found on 28 memorials affixed to the corners of plaques that bear the names of the young men who lost their lives in battle. “This whole stone is in memory of those who gave their lives,” said Joseph Bianculli, a Korean war veteran who is senior vice commander of the Millbury Veterans Council.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.
It took some effort to pry the small stars from the plaques that have been erected outside Millbury Town Hall, and on two other memorials in town to a World War II and Korean War veteran.
Bianculli doesn’t think the thieves will reap much reward. “There isn’t any value,” he said. “None at all. You could have a handful of stars and I doubt they’d be worth $10 in scrap.”
The stars have now been replaced costing the council over seven hundred dollars from the limited budget it uses to maintain the memorials and also erect new ones.
Vietnam veteran Stuart Mulhane, the council’s commander calls it disheartening. “I wonder if some people that caused the damage really knew what they were doing. I think now they probably do,” he said.
The stars may be small, but Bianculli says they complete the honor, and he takes the vandalism personally. “For somebody to go do something like this is a desecration of their memory,” he said.