Statue Disarmed at Monument Terrace

Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh
Lynchburg, VA - Monument Terrace is a Lynchburg landmark that pays tribute to America's veterans. But the bayonet from the rifle has been missing, and the damage someone did to the display has caretakers and local veterans upset.
The Doughboy Statue at Monument Terrace in honor of those who served in World War I has been overlooking the intersection of Church and 9th for more than eight decades. But late last week, someone damaged it.
"In my opinion someone was probably trying to climb up here and simply latched onto it and it broke off in their hands,"said Greg Krueger, who oversees the monument.
Kruger says other attacks besides the missing bayonet on the displays can still be seen. Faded stains of graffiti still show, and a concrete pillar at one time was completely broken off at the base.
"The person that did this don't know what they did. They don't know what that meant to the people of Lynchburg and the people that come here to visit. They don't know what that means," said Vietnam Veteran Haden Laughlin.
Laughlin served in Vietnam and says he's been visiting the monument since he was 13. Other local vets share his anger. Claude Childress also served in Vietnam and his brother-in-law's name is engraved here.
"The city spent a lot of money redoing the whole Monument Terrace and it really looks nice now. And I'd hate for someone to destroy it. It's crazy. It really is," said Childress.
With no budget for such a costly repair -- possibly several thousand dollars -- it could be awhile before doughboy gets his weapon back.
Right now, there's no time frame for when the statue may be fixed. But they are accepting donations to help with that.
If you're interested in donating, contact the museum on its website.