“To see something like that is really tough because you know those people, you see those people every day -- the firefighters, the police officers, EMTs, all those first responders -- and to have the work that they do be treated that way is sort of unfortunate,” Geneva, N.Y., Assistant City Manager Adam Blowers told Rochester's WROC-TV.
He said authorities plan to find who did it.
Andrew Stromfeld, a 9/11 first responder, told the station the vandalism was disheartening.
“It brings it all back to us when more attention is played onto it by people doing damaging things, saying damaging things. It makes it a lot harder,” he said.
He added that some likely don’t consider the symbolic significance of a memorial like the one vandalized. "What they don’t take into consideration is what about the people that the monument means,” he said, according to WROC.
The memorial has since been cleaned, WHEC-TV of Rochester reported.
Geneva is a city of about 13,200 residents, located about 55 miles west of Syracuse.