ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Graffiti was found Thursday morning on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in downtown Albany displaying an expletive about militarism.
“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.
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.
New York State Police on the Concourse are taking the lead on the investigation.