The iconic Plymouth Rock and other sites were covered in red graffiti Monday during a vandalism spree discovered at the site marking the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts 400 years ago.
Officials in Plymouth discovered the vandalism early in the morning. Workers had removed the red spray paint, which included the letters MOF and the numbers 508, from the rock before noon.
Authorities say no arrests have been made and the site was open to tourists.
The rock has come to symbolize the spot where William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims disembarked before founding Plymouth Colony in December 1620.
Police said the vandals also targeted a seashell-shaped sign celebrating the upcoming 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower landing, the Pilgrim Maiden statue and the National Monument To The Forefathers.
The photo above from Monday shows the vandalized Plymouth Rock, the landmark which represents the spot where the first pilgrims landed 400 years ago
Vandals also defaced a seashell-shaped sign celebrating the upcoming 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower landing
Vandals also spray-painted graffiti on The Pilgrim Maiden, a bronze statue erected in 1922 in honor of the women of Plymouth’s founding families. The image on the right is a file photo of the same statue
The above image shows graffiti spray-painted on the National Monument to the Forefathers, a 120-year-old statue that commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims
The vandalized monument was then scrubbed down and the graffiti was removed before noon on Monday
Another monument at the site is seen above on Monday after it was vandalized
Hours later, the monument was scrubbed down and the graffiti was removed
The Plymouth Rock landmark is seen in the above file photo from November 2018
Most of the graffiti was indecipherable though local officials say some of it contained anti-police messages.
It was not immediately clear if this graffiti incident had any connection to the anniversary celebration, but Plymouth Rock has been the site of political demonstrations before.
United American Indians of New England holds the solemn remembrance on every Thanksgiving Day since 1970 there to recall what organizers describe as ‘the genocide of millions of native people, the theft of native lands and the relentless assault on native culture.’
‘Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling,’ Lea Filson, the executive director of local tourism agency See Plymouth, said in a statement to USA Today.
‘The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture.’
MAIN EVENTS FOR 400TH COMMEMORATIONS
April 24: Plymouth 400 commemoration opening ceremony at Plymouth’s Memorial Hall.
June 27-28: Official maritime salute in Plymouth Harbor including replica ship that carried Pilgrims in 1620.
August 1: A Wampanoag Ancestors Walk to honor the original 69 villages of the Nation, which is now known as Massachusetts.
September 14: A State House Ceremony at Massachusetts State House will honor the Pilgrim forefathers and Native people who are immortalized in the historic founding of Plymouth Colony.
September 19: A huge Embarkation Festival is scheduled to take place on the Plymouth waterfront that will honor the traditions, cuisine and music of the original settlers and the Wampanoag people.
October 29-November 1: A conference at Bridgewater State University will address the legacy of colonization experienced by Wampanoag and other Native people.
November 20-25: Series of events in Plymouth in the lead up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Four centuries on, the United States is now preparing to commemorate the moment the Mayflower made its historic crossing from the U.K.
The Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts and the subsequent interactions between the British and the Wampanoag tribe significantly shaped the birth of America.
The Mayflower Pilgrims were significant to American history for a number of reasons, including establishing the New World, a founding documents and the tradition of Thanksgiving.
But the arrival of the British Pilgrims all those centuries ago had a devastating impact on the Native Americans – the effects of which are still held today – who have inhabited Massachusetts for 12,000 years.
The 400th anniversary commemorations have been years in the making with a replica Mayfair ship undergoing million dollar restorations in anticipation for the events.
The non-profit, Plymouth 400 Inc., was established back in 2011 and has been planning the American commemorations of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of the Plymouth colony.
Those planning the U.S. commemorations have also been working in conjunction with the U.K and the Wampanoag tribe to plan the historic events.
There are seven main events being held from April through to November that range from a replica voyage and an ancestral walk to honor the Native tribes.
The United States is preparing to commemorate the moment the Mayflower made its historic crossing from the U.K. to Plymouth, Massachusetts 400 years ago. Pictured above is a replica of the Mayflower that underwent renovations for the historic anniversary
The Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts and the subsequent interactions between the British and the Wampanoag tribe significantly shaped the building of America
The arrival of the British Pilgrims all those centuries ago had a devastating impact on the Native Americans – the effects of which are still held today – who have inhabited Massachusetts for 12,000 years
‘In name, Plymouth 400 calls to mind a singular place but the history of Plymouth colony is integral to the founding of Massachusetts and the Nation,’ said Dusty Rhodes, Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Commission Chair.
‘The cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the interaction of the Wampanoag and English peoples have significantly shaped the building of American and continue to provide lessons for our future.
‘Further, the inclusion of the Native American perspective is one of the truly unique aspects of this commemoration as, historically, this perspective has been mishandled and misrepresented.’