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EUGENE, Ore. – One of the plaques at the Nobel Peace Park inside Alton Baker Park was ripped out of the ground, and it’s going to be costing the board of the park about $1,000.
The Nobel Peace Laureate Project was created to honor the 24 American winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. Each laureate gets a plaque that gives a description of why they deserved to win. Board staff said it’s also a way to show people peace-making efforts and bring peace to those who walk through it.
The laureate’s plaque that was stolen was Emily Balch, a peace activist that began the International Women’s League of Peace and Freedom.
President of the board, Jerry Ragan, said the plaques are welded down very tightly, and he can't imagine how someone was able to pull one out. He said it goes against everything the park stands for to do something as violent as tearing one of the plaques out of the ground.
"It really is not in keeping with the nature of this park and what it's all about. We hope that folks come here and see peace-making efforts and how difficult it is, and we hope that they wouldn't use violence to go against the peace-making efforts,” said Ragan.
The park is maintained by the board alone, so Ragan said incidents like these just make the job harder for them.
They don’t yet know how long the plaque has been gone, but they’d like to get it replaced as soon as possible. They have an option for donation to the project on their website, here.