Eagle Rock, CA: Memorial for 9/11 vandalized at Occidental College.

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Eagle Rock, CA: Memorial for 9/11 vandalized at Occidental College.

A memorial to remember and honor the many people killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks was vandalized at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California.

According to NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4, nearly 3,000 miniature American flags were placed in the grass around the main quad at Occidental College in Eagle Rock on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 and just hours after the display went up, vandals removed many of the flags, broke them and threw them in the trash.

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The American flags for the memorial for 9/11 were installed by the Occidental College’s Republican Club.

The group had to repeatedly dig the American flags out of trash cans, repair the broken American flags, and carefully place the new American flags back into the grass.

“Our mission here was to remember the 2,997 victims and heroes that died on 9/11 and that’s pacifically it. This is not political. This is beyond that,” Vice President of the Occidental College Republican Club Max Woods tells KNBC 4 News Reporter Kate Larsen.

Occidental College Republican Club Max Woods also tells KNBC 4 News that he saw several students from a distance knocking over the flags and tried to find out what was behind the vandalism.

“Any time we’ve really tried to talk to them they run away … A lot of us, we don’t know them personally, but we do know that it’s the same set of students doing it,” said Vice President of the Occidental College Republican Club Max Woods.

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The vandals left behind signs which read, “R.I.P. to the 2,996 Americans who died in 9/11. R.I.P. the 1, 455,590 innocent Iraqis who died during the U.S. invasion for something they didn’t do.”

According to Erica O’Neal, Dean of Students at Occidental College, the college is investigating the incident and will take appropriate disciplinary action.

In a statement released to KNBC 4 News, Erica O’Neal, Dean of Students at Occidental College said, “Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment. The right and freedom to debate complex, contentious issues and disagree with each other is fundamental to what we do at Oxy. At the same time, we may not express ourselves in ways that prevent others from engaging in protected speech.”

** Pictures from Occidental College Republican Club and NBC affiliate KNBC Channel 4: **

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