Is it ‘Open Season’ for Attacks on Veterans Memorials?
It was just a little over 2 months ago, March 17th to be exact when our South Boston World War II Memorial on Day Blvd. was defaced, doused in some type of sticky oil that was next to impossible to remove. We all know the story. It wasn’t just big news and distressing to South Bostonians. It was reported on all over the country, as people everywhere were shocked, disgusted and angry over what had happened. WHO would do such a thing and WHY were the two biggest questions being asked? That the attack on our memorial happened on a day designated to remember a military engagement; Evacuation Day which as we know falls on the same day as St. Patrick’s Day was not lost to suspicious residents eager to find out and perhaps get their hands on who did this.
As we also know, the beautiful Vietnam War Memorial in Dorchester located on Morrissey Blvd. was hit and defaced; American flags torn and thrown into the nearby water leading up to the Memorial Day weekend. Apparently, someone wanted to send an anti-military/anti-veteran message on a holiday that so solemnly remembers those who gave their lives in battle in defense of this country and the freedom we all enjoy because of those sacrifices. This was the second time the Dorchester site was vandalized in recent times. And there have been other military monuments and grave sites hit around the city and in fact all across the nation. It also seems that there are people out there who feel that it is open season on anything that pays tribute to fallen veterans. It’s as if culprits feel they have a right to attack and damage these monuments, the flags and anything else with a patriotic message because they themselves disagree with the high honor and esteem our war heroes are held in and looked upon with and in fact have an intense hatred for this country in general.
The anger is building and is approaching a boiling point by residents who are fed up with these attacks and want something done about it. They want these vandals caught and when they are caught, given severe punishment and not just slaps on the wrist. And yes, many of us have heard the talk around town by some South Boston and Dorchester residents as well as American citizens everywhere, pretty much suggesting that since it seems to be open season for these vandals to attack the memorials, maybe it should be open season on the vandals themselves.
The hard work, expense, the planning, the preparations and the love that goes into erecting these war memorials to America’s fallen heroes is huge. South Boston residents over the years have put their hearts and souls into getting our memorials built. So too did the dedicated residents of Dorchester for the monuments that are in their community. It’s the same nationwide. The attacks on them must be stopped and those who commit these acts put on notice that the Veterans memorials are off limits to attacks that are most likely motivated by their sick ideology. The punishment for those caught doing it should be something that they will dread. If anything can be classified as a ‘hate crime’ it is these attacks. Hate crimes carry a big penalty now and should be applied to this situation.
To close this week, there is some good news to report regarding the South Boston World War II Memorial. State Representative David Biele gave us an update on the progress of the restoration. The DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) has now signed off on the contract for the restoration work to take place and it is moving along well. Work was delayed for a while because of the cold wet spring weather. The substance that will clean the monument can only be effective when the temperature is 70 degrees and above and as we all know, there were very few of those days up until now. So the crews will be there on multiple days per week working hard to get the memorial back to the way it was.