Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Veteran's Memorials Vandalized in 3 States Ahead of Memorial Day

Inevitable Result of the Culture Wars?

 

Screengrab of defaced Veterans Memorial in Venice, CA

As Americans across the U.S. begin Memorial Day weekend, vandals defaced veteran memorials in California, Kentucky, and Virginia.

ABC News reports:

Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day.

A Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles has been extensively defaced by graffiti. The vandalism occurred sometime during the past week, KCAL/KCBS-TV (http://cbsloc.al/1RAa3mg) reported. The homespun memorial painted on a block-long wall on Pacific Avenue lists the names of American service members missing in action or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.

News of the vandalism came as another veterans-related memorial was reported damaged in Henderson, Kentucky. Police say a Memorial Day cross display there that honors the names of 5,000 veterans of conflicts dating back to the Revolutionary War has been damaged by a driver who plowed through the crosses early Saturday.

In Virginia, the Petersburg National Battlefield has apparently has been looted, the National Park Service said. Numerous excavations were found at the Civil War battlefield last week, Jeffrey Olson, and agency spokesman, said in a news release Friday. Petersburg National Battlefield is a 2,700-acre park marks where more than 1,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died fighting during the Siege of Petersburg 151 years ago.

In Los Angeles' Venice neighborhood, the wall for missing veterans has been tagged previously, but the latest vandalism covers the bottom half of the memorial for much of its length.

The vandalism of the Venice, California memorial appears to be a large graffiti "tag" that covers much of the memorial and is described as "desecration."

CBS Los Angeles reports:

Stewart Oscars welled up as he looked at the vandalized mural located on Pacific Avenue near Sunset Court. It was covered in graffiti from end to end.

Closeup of graffiti

"This knocked me out. So sickening. Just sadness...think of all these people. They're gone," Oscars said. "I remember the Vietnam war and how friends went to war, and bodies came back. Somehow, it has to be taught that this is not a good idea. This is actually stupid."

The memorial was dedicated to service members who were listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.

George Francisco is the Vice President of the Venice Chamber of Commerce. He also runs a nonprofit called Veterans Foundation Incorporated.

"It's a desecration. I mean it's very simple. There's no sort of other way around it. It isn't graffiti," Francisco said.

 

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