Foul weather, not foul play blamed for toppling monuments in O'F -

Foul weather, not foul play blamed for toppling monuments in O'Fallon, IL

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An estimated 400 attended a Memorial Day ceremony at O'Fallon's Veterans' Monument Park and attendees like retired Major General Donald Bennett gave it a good review.

"I thought it was wonderful, one of the best we had," Bennett said.

But two of the 15 pillars at the park inscribed with the names of O'Fallon's veterans were conspicuously absent after falling over in early May. "I'm sad, I'm really sad. We all were, the whole town was," said Barb Schneider.

The large stone tablets toppled over and broke into pieces on Monday, May 11th. Initially investigators blamed vandals but are now saying there's no evidence of criminal damage.

"There was heavy rains, and the ground was very soggy. There was no way a vehicle could have gotten in here without being detected," said O'Fallon City Clerk Phil Goodwin. Goodwin said video from a nearby surveillance camera with a view of the park didn't see the monuments fall. But it did show a large tree near the monuments that was bent to a nearly 90-degree angle by the high winds that day.

Residents and businesses in O'Fallon have donated $10,000 to help pay for replacement pillars. A GoFundMe account has been set up to accept donations.

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