The American Fallen Soldiers Project National Gallery bears the scars of a crime scene. Broken glass is scattered near the window thieves smashed-in Tuesday during a break-in at the Addison nonprofit.
But the gallery's owner, Lisa Taylor, said this was more than a petty crime, it was a desecration.
"We view this as sacred ground. To know that someone would come into a place like that that's basically sacred ground and steal; they're not only stealing from us, but they're stealing from their service. It's very upsetting," Taylor said.
For the last 10 years the American Fallen Soldiers Project has produced painted portraits of fallen soldiers and given them to their families.
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The thieves stole nearly $21,000 in computer equipment Taylor's husband, Phil, uses to piece together the lives of soldiers and put them on canvass.
"We gift everything to the families. These guys died for our country and then someone comes in? And with no regard to where they are?" Taylor asked rhetorically."
The incident will likely delay the gallery's grand opening for the foreseeable future, but Taylor said it won't stop her and her husband from continuing to bring comfort to grieving families.
"This is our service. It has no end date. We're going to do it until we can't do it anymore," she said.