Millions of Americans took part in a day of mourning on Monday for the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack. Unfortunately, disturbing footage is now going viral showing a man desecrating a 9/11 memorial in New York City yesterday.

Daily Caller reported that the video shows an unidentified man ripping small American flags out of a 9/11 memorial at Columbia University. He ripped 50 flags out and threw them in the trash before returning to collect more.

“Angered, I ran over and asked him what he was doing, and was laughed at with no proper response,” said Aanand Shah, an ROTC cadet who filmed the event and posted the video to Facebook. “I asked a nearby Public Safety officer what could be done; but he was well within his rights to protest, so I recorded the video.”

Shah teamed up with four other people to replant the flags, and others soon joined to help them.

“I’m (personally) okay with people kneeling for the anthem or burning the flag in dissent or protest — I will fight to defend their right to do so,” said Shah. “I countered this man because (in my opinion) the tragedy and the memory of Sep 11, 2001, and the flags on that lawn, shouldn’t devolve into politics and disrespect when it’s meant to serve as a symbol of remembrance and memorial.”

Ari Boosalis, president of Columbia’s College Republicans chapter, said that he was not surprised by what happened at all, as his campus has been consistently rejecting American values since the election.

“September 11th is a day where all Americans no matter their race, creed, or political affiliation should come together to remember those who have fallen and risked their lives for our safety,” said Boosalis to Campus Reform. “This event is by no means political, but a day of remembrance and tribute, especially to the first responders who gave up their lives in order to save others.”

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