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

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Vietnam War Memorial Wall Defaced; Venice Tagger Arraigned Today

Man in custody responsible for defacing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Sunset Avenue in Venice

 

LAPD have apprehended the man responsible for defacing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Sunset Avenue in Venice

The Los Angeles District Attorney's office believes they have apprehended the man responsible for defacing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Sunset Avenue in Venice.

Before the Memorial Day weekend, graffiti appeared on the wall, which has become an icon for the Venice and West Los Angeles neighborhoods regarding the service and sacrifice given to the United States by those in the armed services. The mural bears the title "You Are Not Forgotten" and lists the names of 2,273 soldiers who are counted as either prisoners of war or missing in action from the Vietnam War. It was painted in 1992 by artist Peter Stewart, who was inspired by a welcoming parade for Operation Desert Storm veterans.

The graffiti damage to the memorial mural stretched about 100 feet. "We were initially hopeful that the graffiti could be removed without damaging the memorial, but Metro's contractor says the damage is too extensive," reported Metro CEO Phil Washington. The mural is painted on the side of a Metro building. Washington's statement went to explain that the transit authority would "work with the community to gather historical photos so the wall can be restored."

The suspected tagger, Angel Castro, 24, was arrested on July 13. He's plead not guilty to one felony count of vandalism over $400. Castro has previously been convicted of robbery in 2015. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $85,000.

If convicted as charged, Castro could face up to six years in prison.

Volunteers helped cleanup the Vietnam War memorial wall in Venice after it was vandalized with graffiti.

If convicted as charged, Castro could face up to six years in prison.

The memorial, located on a black wall along Pacific Avenue, was painted by a Vietnam veteran in 1992 and has 2,273 names on it. It declares "You are not forgotten," which was covered up by the graffiti. Citizens all the way from Lancaster and other areas came together to repaint the phrase over the markings and cleanup the graffiti.

Venice is a residential, commercial and recreational beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of the city of Los Angeles.

Venice was founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It was an independent city until 1926, when it merged with Los Angeles. Today, Venice is known for its canals, beaches, and the circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, mystics, artists and vendors.

 

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