The damage at the patriotic display in Washingtonville, north of New York City, was discovered early Wednesday, according to the Times-Herald Record.
Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro told the newspaper that those behind the vandalism used a tool to sever the flagpole about five feet from its base and then scrawled a message on the part left standing.
Police would not disclose the nature of the message, but did reveal that an eagle figure attached to the flagpole was found next to a toppled sign at the St. Mary's Parish Center about a half-mile away.
"These two locations mean so much to Washingtonville and the larger community," New York State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, whose district includes the area, said in a press release.
Washingtonville Mayor Joseph Bucco said the village will replace the damaged flagpole and a $3,000 reward is being offered for information about the incident and the suspects, the Times-Herald Record reported.
The memorial features a semi-circle of granite monuments honoring five members of the New York City Fire Department – firefighters Mark Whitford, Bobby Hamilton and Gerry Nevins, Batallion Chief Dennis Devlin and Lt. Glenn Perry, the newspaper adds.