A 9/11 memorial was left covered in soap suds after vandals poured detergent into a fountain just days before the 19th anniversary of the attacks.
Volunteers blamed the bizarre prank on ‘disturbed individuals’ after finding a mountain of soap and bubbles on the memorial in Yardley, Pennsylvania.
Police told 6ABC that ‘it appears someone dumped a few gallons of dish detergent into the fountain’.
Judi Reiss, the mother of 9/11 victim Joshua Reiss, said she hoped the vandals were merely a ‘bunch of dumb young teenagers’ who needed ‘more education’ on what the memorial represents.
Vandalized: A 9/11 memorial is covered in soap and bubbles after vandals poured dish detergent into a fountain just days before the anniversary
Clean-up: The soap suds are removed ahead of the 19th anniversary on Friday which will see a socially-distanced memorial event take place at the memorial
‘It was a little disheartening. But I know just like with our lives, we can clean up we can fix it up, and on September 11 the garden will be at its most beautiful,’ she said.
Volunteers said the soap had not caused any major damage but forced a major clean-up operation just days before the anniversary.
‘It appears someone thought it funny to add soap suds to the fountains,’ they said as they condemned the ‘disrespectful’ stunt in a Facebook post.
Mourners are expected to take part in a socially-distanced memorial procession to mark the day itself on Friday.
Police lieutenant Jason Braim said the cleaning product ‘created a bubble mass the whole entire width of the fountain itself and about five feet high’.
‘This location should not be disturbed a total lack of respect for what this fountain stands for as a monument,’ he said, adding that CCTV footage may identify the culprits.
Opened in 2006, the memorial had previously been the victim of similar detergent-based vandalism six years ago.
It is dedicated to the 18 residents of Bucks County, Pennsylvania who died in the terror attacks.
Surrounded: Volunteers blamed the bizarre prank on ‘disturbed individuals’ after finding a mountain of soap and bubbles covering the monument
Disturbed: Volunteers condemned the ‘disrespectful’ prank in Yardley, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania will also mark the anniversary with a virtual memorial service for the victims of Flight 93, which crashed in the state after passengers heroically took on the hijackers to bring down the plane.
It is believed that the Flight 93 terrorists were heading to Washington to destroy either the White House or the Capitol.
After the plane was hijacked, passengers on Flight 93 discovered what was happening in New York City where the World Trade Center had already been hit.
The al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked commercial jets in a devastating co-ordinated attack and used them as missiles, both towers coming down within less than two hours after they were hit.
The collapse of the World Trade Center covered New York in hellish clouds of ash while fires burned for months in the rubble of the twin towers.
2,977 people died in total in addition to the 19 terrorists.
More than 51,000 people have applied to a victim compensation fund that makes payments to people with illnesses potentially related to 9/11.