Vietnam War Memorial Wall In Venice Tagged With Graffiti
The wall in Venice dedicated to those who went missing in action during the Vietnam War was vandalized last week, just days before Memorial Day, the Sheriff's Department says.
According to the L.A. Times, the neighborhood is a frequent target for graffiti, and this isn't the first time the wall itself has been tagged, but this week's appearance of large white letters spray painted on the memorial wall was especially upsetting.
Venice resident Stewart Oscars told CBS L.A. that when he saw it on Wednesday evening, it "knocked me out," he said. "So sickening. Just sadness—think of all these people. They're gone. I remember the Vietnam war and how friends went to war, and bodies came back." Oscars told the Times that the graffiti stretched about 100 feet down the wall.
George Francisco, VP of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, believes that this is much worse than your run-of-the-mill graffiti, but carried a political message.
"It's a desecration of something that's a tribute to people who went off to war, in a very unpopular war, and they never came back," George Francisco of the Venice Chamber of Commerce told ABC-7. "The children who tagged this are ignorant. The children who tagged this don't even know that it's Memorial Day."
The memorial, which stretches along a black wall along Pacific Avenue, was painted by Vietnam veteran Peter Stewart in 1992. On the wall are 2,273 names and the phrase "You are not forgotten." The taggers covered over the phrase with the spray paint, but it was re-painted over by a citizen, according to ABC-7.
Councilman Mike Bonin called it "a disgusting and disrespectful act of vandalism," and said that his office will be working on getting the wall cleaned as soon as possible. As the Times notes, the sheriff's department will be investigating the crime, as the wall belongs to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority building.
According to a tweet by NBC L.A.'s Rick Montanez, veterans have gathered in Venice this morning to try to clean up the wall themselves: