Boston Mayor Martin Walsh is calling on whoever vandalized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Dorchester to attend the service Monday and "listen to the roll call of names that are going to be listed off that day."
City and state police released surveillance video image of a suspect wanted in connection with vandalism at the memorial located on Morrissey Boulevard. The memorial to 80 killed in action during the Vietnam War was hit one day after repairs were completed following vandalism that occurred in October. It also comes after other city memorials, to World War II vets and fallen police officers, were doused with oil.
"It's sad and disrespectful for anyone to do that to any memorial and the Vietnam Memorial has gone through it last year," Walsh said to reporters Friday. "On Monday, to the person who did this, I hope that they have a chance to come to the memorial and listen to the roll call of names that are going to be listed off that day."
"Sixty-seven people from Dorchester that lost their lives in Vietnam, fighting for the United States of America, to free the Vietnamese people," Walsh added. "That's so disrespectful, what that person did."
Walsh said that if the person is "listening today, just come in and watch. A lot of families, still, were affected by losing their loved one in the Vietnam War, that are going to be there on Monday, laying a flower at the base of that memorial.
"A lot of times you'll drive by and there will be a crowd, so many just sitting there reflecting. It's sacred ground. It's just completely uncalled for," he said.
State police said in a statement Thursday it condemns "this despicable act and are conducting a thorough and coordinated investigation to determine who is responsible and to hold that person or persons accountable." Officers searched the grounds Thursday, canvassing the area and determining whether any security cameras in the area captured additional evidence.
In October, bushes surrounding the memorial were shredded, possibly by a chainsaw, at the same site. Flower beds were torn apart and bricks were thrown at the face of the memorial that was dedicated in 1986.
Ed Pimental, vice president of the Dorchester Vietnam Memorial Committee, told the Herald on Thursday he was worried how family members of the fallen soldiers will cope.
"Gold Star parents will be here Monday," Pimental said. "Families will be hurt by it."
This article is written by Jonathan Ng from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.