54th Massachusetts memorial vandalized

From the Boston Herald:

Famous 54th Regiment Monument Vandalized

A woman is in police custody after officials say she splashed yellow paint onto a historic downtown monument honoring African Americans who fought in the Civil War, apparently because she wasn’t happy with how it depicted history.

Boston cops say they arrested Rosemine Occean, 38, of Quincy after responding to a report of vandalism to the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial.

Capt. Stephen Owens of the state Bureau of Ranger Services, which oversees the nearby State House, said the woman parked her car on Beacon Street around 4 p.m., got out and began dousing the century-old memorial with yellow paint, even hitting nearby pedestrians in the process.

One man whose daughter was splashed stopped the woman from leaving until police arrived, Owens said.

“She was just sitting there on the bench with a can of paint in her hand, talking to police,” Owens said. He said the woman was spotted just weeks earlier trying to break a sword from the statue and today indicated to authorities that she was upset with how the memorial depicted history….

(Read more and see pictures of the vandalized memorial at the Boston Herald site.)

Follow up stories from the Boston Herald provide more details of the incident:

A paint-splattered Quincy woman was charged yesterday with defacing a historic downtown monument honoring black soldiers who fought in the Civil War after officials say she splashed yellow paint on it because she was unhappy with how it depicted history.

Boston cops arrested Rosemine Occean, 38, after responding to a report of vandalism to the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial. Police say Occean had paint on her face, hands and clothes, and Capt. Stephen Owens of the state Bureau of Ranger Services said she still had a paint can in her hands. Occean is due to be arraigned today on charges of willful and malicious destruction to city property.

Owens said the woman parked on Beacon Street at about 4 p.m. and began dousing the century-old memorial, splattering passers-by in the process. Owens said she was spotted weeks earlier trying to break the Shaw sword and yesterday told police she was upset with how the memorial depicted history.

Another article goes on to say Mrs. Occean, who has a history of mental illness will undergo a psychiatric evaluation while being held on bond.

We don’t often see cases of monument, memorial, or marker vandalism solved so quickly. Only limited details about the misrepresentations of history, which motivated Mrs. Occean, have been reported. So we’d do well to avoid speculations in that regard, or any comparisons to other similar acts.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “54th Massachusetts memorial vandalized

  1. This person is quite obviously ill, but her bizarre mental state does nothing to mitigate the shocking hurt of her despicable act. This magnificent monument was a particular favorite of my wife, an Andover, MA, native, and it would profoundly disturb Deb to know it has been defamed. One hopes it can be cleaned without further damage.

  2. The memorial is often the target of vandals, usually just drunk knuckleheads, who want to break the sword or sell it for scrap – they occasionally steal one of the bronze “ducklings” from the Public Gardens for the same reasons. But this woman is mentally ill, and the damage was more obvious, so it seems more egregious. But it isnt the first time the memorial has been vandalized, and it won’t be the last. It is the work of the present-day 54th Co. A reenactors, the city of Boston and the general public who revere the memorial and constantly demand it be in pristine condition that makes it seem like it is always in top shape. The fact that no one will accept the memorial being in anything but the most perfect condition says a lot, too, in an age where – once something is vandalized – it is never maintained the same way again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.