DORCHESTER, Mass. – Police are on the hunt for the individual that vandalized the Vietnam War Memorial in Boston right before Memorial Day.
Authorities say there is ‘significant’ damage done to the Dorchester memorial.
Newly planted bushes and shrubs were ripped from the ground.
Swastikas and other disturbing graffiti can be seen all over the memorial.
Flags were ripped down and thrown into a swamp nearby.
Troopers and UMass-Boston Police are investigating vandalism to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Morrissey Boulevard. Numerous plants and flags were removed or destroyed and graffiti was written on the stone memorial. Developing.
— Mass State Police (@MassStatePolice) May 23, 2019
And all of this happened just days before America recognizes Memorial Day, a tribute to the veterans that gave their lives to serve and defend our country’s freedoms.
Who is so motivated by hate, anger, or even sheer boredom that they unleash their feelings on hallowed ground?
Fox posted a video to Facebook that showed surveillance images of the suspect police are looking for.
Anyone recognize them?
Do you recognize this person? Police are searching for information after a Vietnam War memorial was vandalized just days before Memorial Day
Posted by Fox & Friends on Friday, May 24, 2019
The monuments are made from stone, and so cleaning crews will have their work cut out for them. The memorial will no doubt gather a large group of family members and friends this weekend as we remember those who gave their lives in the military.
Police say the vandalism happened early on Thursday afternoon.
Boston 25 News interviewed Tom Cunningham, whose brother was killed in Vietnam.
His brother Robert J. Cunningham is one of 80 local men that was in Vietnam and is remembered here. Tom hurried to the memorial after hearing it was vandalized, saying that what he saw made him sick.
“Now it seems like you gotta camp out here to make sure people aren’t going to destroy it,” he said.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Vandalized in Dorchester.
Whoever did this tossed American Flags into a nearby swamp.
Investigators pulled the flags out.
— Matthew Touchette (@matt_touchette) May 23, 2019
UMass Boston owns the memorial and keeps it properly maintained throughout the year. They released a statement to the public following the site’s desecration.
“UMass Boston is very proud of the veteran community on our campus and in the neighborhoods around us. I am horrified at this callous act of vandalism and saddened for those veterans who are listed on the monument and their families who are still here with us. We recently installed a camera at the site after a previous vandalism incident. We’re reviewing the footage and will help the investigation in any way we can.”
– UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman
This isn’t the first time this particular memorial has been tampered with. Police say that back in October, flags were torn at the site and bricks were thrown at the stone.
Because of the destruction, a security system was installed – catching the suspect on camera. Police are hoping that someone can identify.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call State Police at (617) 740-7710 or university police at (617) 287-6084.
This isn’t the first Boston war memorial to be tampered with recently. In March, the WWII Memorial in South Boston was also vandalized.