• 'It hurts a lot': Boston veteran reacts to vandalism of military memorials

    By: Evan White

    Updated:

    BOSTON - As we near Memorial Day weekend, vandalism continues to strike memorials in Boston.

    In Dorchester this week, restoration efforts continued after vandals sprayed graffiti on the Vietnam War Memorial, and ripped out flags and shrubs.

    In South Boston in March, the World War II Memorial is still stained after vandals poured oil on it. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation is overseeing cleanup and two months after the vandalism occurred, the memorial could be restored within days. 

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    On Thursday, State Police pulled flags from a swamp, tossed there by someone who also sprayed graffiti across the Vietnam War Memorial. Investigators are searching fo suspects. Meanwhile, restoration work began quickly.

    South Boston's World War II Memorial was covered in a substance staining each major monument in the park.

    "It hurts. It hurts a lot," said South Boston VFW Commander Thomas McCarthy, adding that restoration crews have been "trying their best."

    "The shade is definitely a little lighter, but I  was told it was going to take a long time to, the weather's gotta get warmer," he said. 

    The World War II Memorial was only one of two memorials in the city badly vandalized back in March. The other one is in Mattapan at Mount Cemetery, the Fallen Officers Memorial. It has been cleaned too, although the stains are still obvious. 

    Police made an arrest in connection with these two memorials.

    "They're not going to be in my thoughts," said McCarthy, who instead chooses to focus on the people memorialized here.

    "For us veterans, people who care about the military, we're not looking at the stains, we're looking at the names on the wall and remember them," McCarthy said.

    They also care about seeing each monument fully cleaned.

    "It would be really nice. the sooner it gets cleaned up, the better it is for everybody," McCarthy said.

    On Sunday, Vietnam War veterans and others are being honored in South Boston with a march from the VFW to Medal of Honor Park on East First Street.

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