City officials believe a fire Saturday morning at a memorial honoring veterans at the Moreno Valley Civic Center was intentionally set.
Firefighters arrived at the Moreno Valley Veterans Memorial at 14075 Frederick Street around 5 a.m. and quickly extinguished the flames.
“The people responsible for this horrible and cowardly act will be brought to justice,” Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez said in a statement. “This is not only destruction of government property, but it is also an attack on our veteran community in Moreno Valley.”
The memorial, dedicated in 2007, depicts a star-shaped monument featuring large granite panels on which the names of Moreno Valley soldiers killed in action are inscribed. The centerpiece is a battlefield cross bronze statue titled, “Fallen Soldier,” with a pair of military boots, an M16 rifle with the barrel down between the boots, and a combat helmet on top.
The fire burned the vegetation surrounding the memorial, though any damage to the statue was unclear Saturday, said Rob Roseen, a spokesperson for the CAL FIRE/ Riverside County Fire Department.
An arson investigation is underway. No suspect description was available. Authorities ask anyone with information to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951-486-6700 or CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department at 951-940-6900.
Statement from Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor of Moreno Valley, about this morning’s arson incident at the Moreno Valley Civic Center Veterans Memorial:
“At 5:00 a.m., Moreno Valley firefighters responded to a fire at the City’s Veterans Memorial located at the Civic Center. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/iUfRYfitZG
— City of Moreno Valley (@CityofMoVal) March 19, 2022