(The Hill) – A New Jersey city has covered up the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin on a 9/11 memorial and is making plans to permanently remove it following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The memorial was given as a gift to the city of Bayonne by Russia in 2005, with Putin visiting the city at the time, NBC New York reported.
The city has decided to cover up Putin’s name so the memorial is now shown as a gift only from the Russian people. Putin’s name will be permanently removed once it is determined how to do so without damaging the monument.
“It’s definitely satisfaction, but I don’t want to take away from the monument,” Tom Cotter, the city’s Department of Public Works director, said. “It’s unfortunate Putin’s name’s on the monument, but I don’t want this to be a Putin thing. I still want this to be a 9/11 monument.”
“Basically what’s happening in Ukraine right now is like a form of terrorism, the invasion of that country,” Cotter added, according to the local outlet.
Mayor Jimmy Davis rejected calls for the whole memorial to be taken down.
“Anybody who said this is tarnished because it came from Russia — not tarnished. This monument is going nowhere. We just removed Vladimir,” said Davis. “I don’t ever want to hear someone say that this monument has to come down, because they’re going to have to go through me to take this monument down.”
Residents in the city have donated three truckloads of goods for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, NBC New York noted.