- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 15, 2013

Members of the Abenaki tribe are outraged after protesters at Middlebury College in Vermont uprooted a 9/11 memorial display in their name.

College Republicans and Democrats at the school placed 2,977 flags in a field that were meant to represent the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Addison County Independent reported.

Claiming the memorial had defaced Abenaki land in the name of American imperialism, activists uprooted the memorial on Wednesday afternoon, 12 years after the World Trade Center was attacked.

The chief of the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe called the protest “disgusting.”

“We didn’t know anything about this and if we had we certainly wouldn’t have sanctioned it,” Don Stevens, the tribal leader, told the Independent, adding that there’s no evidence the field is an Abenaki burial site.

“Our burial sites honor our warriors and their bravery,” Mr. Stevens said. “Putting flags in the earth to honor bravery would not be disrespectful.”

Two people so far have admitted to destroying the memorial.

Anna Shireman-Grabowski, a senior at Middlebury and a contributor to Salon, issued a statement on middbeat.org, saying she wanted to “take accountability for the hurt you may be feeling while clarifying the motivations for this action.”

At no point in the statement did Miss Shireman-Grabowski apologize for her actions, the Independent noted.

In an statement posted to climate-connections.org, Amanda Lickers admitted she also was involved. She told the Independent she had “absolutely no regrets” in defacing the 9/11 memorial.

The college condemned the incident as vandalism and is investigating, the Daily Caller reported.

“There is always something to learn from differences of opinion,” Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz told the Caller. “In this case, the disrespectful methods of the protesters overshadowed anything that might have been learned from the convictions they claimed to promote. We will not tolerate this kind of behavior.”