Visitors Scratch Graffiti into 9/11 Memorial Name Plaques

By Philip Messing New York Post

It’s the graffiti of the grief-stricken.

Bereaved friends and family members are scratching personalized messages into the 152 bronze panels that list victims at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, sources told The Post.

While Port Authority police are compelled to file reports on the illegal “scratchiti,” no arrests have been made, and pursuing the mournful misdemeanors is not a high priority, sources said.

“Can you imagine the conflict a cop would feel about having to bust someone for leaving a personal message to honor a dead relative who was murdered at Ground Zero?” a law-enforcement source asked.

A PA spokesman couldn’t provide exact numbers of scratchiti incidents at the site, but sources said they have encountered roughly 40 anguished messages scratched into the bronze name plates.

“It happens, but not every day,” confirmed a groundskeeper who meticulously dusts the area each day.

The heavily secured memorial site is ringed with surveillance cameras, but law-enforcement officials have declined to pursue investigations based on possible footage of the vandals in action.

Cops have also opted not to try to identify the scratchers based on the names they put their messages next to.

There have been no reports of disrespectful scratchiti on the plates or traditional graffiti tags, sources said.

The heartbreaking messages of love, grief and remembrance are typically brief but sincere, according to the sources.

People scratch the notes in quickly in order to avoid detection by security staffers.

“Love4Ever,” read one message next to the name of a 9/11 victim.

“There have been instances when scratches have been discovered on the bronze panels of the memorial,” said Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. “Our staff works very hard to address them immediately.

“The panels are cared for by hand and with a deep sense of responsibility and sensitivity by our dedicated staff,” he said.

Memorial-site staffers who discover the messages are required to contact PAPD authorities, who then fill out a criminal mischief report, sources said.

Maintenance workers are then dispatched to quickly reapply a coat of “black patina” to the plates to get rid of the scratchiti and restore the original shine.

Deeper cuts require more complicated rehabilitation jobs, the sources said.

Additional reporting by Kevin ­Fasick

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