Vietnam Memorial in Albany vandalized overnight

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Graffiti was found Thursday morning on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in downtown Albany displaying an expletive about militarism.

Veterans from the local Vietnam Veterans Organization stood in disbelief and disgust as they watched the hurtful words be washed away. Many helped restore the memorial, and most of the vets have family and friends whose names are remembered on the wall.

“Disgraceful, especially, here’s a memorial that 77 people have died, including my cousin named up there that they died for the freedom that everybody can have,” Vietnam veteran Gene Loparco said.

The veterans said having the memorial defaced was hurtful and something they never thought would happen.

“And to see this kind of display on a monument; it’s very frustrating,” Loparco said. “Don’t they understand what freedom is all about? It’s not free.”

Loparco is part of the Tri-City Council of Vietnam Veterans.

“We served our country proudly, and we did the best we could,” he said.

Tri-City Council of Vietnam Veterans President Joseph Pollicino agrees.

“I’ve seen a lot of things happen,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of my friends die.”

The memorial in Lafayette Park was rededicated last year after Pollicino, Loparco and other veterans worked to restore it.

“These guys raised all the money; they put all the sweat equity in themselves,” Albany County Veterans Service Officer Jim Ader said. “So beyond the insult to the veterans, in my mind, it’s doubly offensive and insulting to these guys who put so much into it.”

The city of Albany cleaned the graffiti by power washing and scrubbing it away. But the anger and the hurt from seeing the words are far from gone.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan came to the memorial to talk with the veterans. She said that although she’s proud to have free speech as an American, the vandalism crosses the line.

New York State Police on the Concourse are taking the lead on the investigation.

 

fuck militarism

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