An Illinois couple has been told by their town administration to remove a 9/11 memorial from their yard.
The family is, however, battling the edict.
Leigh Gardella-Wood and her husband moved to Winthrop Harbor, a town located 50 miles north of Chicago, after buying the Spring Bluff Elementary School building.
The school, which closed down in 2011, had a memorial boulder on its property.
“In June 2012, Girl Scout Kasha Strathman took the 9/11 memorial on as her Gold Award project, raising money for the plaque that now sits on the boulder, reading ‘We Shall Never Forget’ above a dedication to ‘those who serve,'” the NBC Chicago reports.
Leigh admits that the village asked the family to remove the boulder when they were buying the building.
“She and her husband agreed and asked the village to move the boulder within the year and put the property back together, which local officials never did,” the outlet adds.
However, the village couldn’t remove the boulder due to a public outcry.
Leigh was told by the village board to remove the memorial as its signage was ‘obsolete.’ The board said they would impose on her a fine as much as $500 per day if she fails to remove the memorial in ten days.
She said: “I have never heard of a plaque being an issue. There are people who have plaques in their yard all over the place— it is not gaudy, it is not hurting anybody.”
“I think this is needed,” she added. “We have a lot of people who are veterans. By the village wanting it gone, it hurts. People come here and reflect or to get away.”
“I don’t know what to think because I don’t understand what they are thinking,” Leigh said. “I don’t understand how a community that is so close, that they would find a plaque or memorial obsolete.
“People worked really hard to have that put there. People died on 9/11. It’s not something we can just forget. It is coming up – how do you forget that?”
A local outlet of Veterans of Foreign Wars has suggested installing the memorial on its premises.