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Punchbowl palm stripped of fronds


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POSTED: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Officials at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl may have to replace a 10-foot palm tree outside the front gate after a vandal or vandals cut off the fronds.

Police said the fronds were cut sometime between 10 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. yesterday when maintenance people reported to work at the cemetery.

Jim Messner, Punchbowl spokesman, said the fronds were laid out on the ground to form the word “;SOS.”; Empty beer bottles were discovered near the base of the tree.

Police have listed the incident as a criminal property damage case, which is a misdemeanor.

The main gate to the national cemetery is locked at night and the area is patrolled by a security guard.

In 1997, vandals desecrated grave sites with paint. No one was prosecuted in that case.