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L.A. war memorial covered up after graffiti vandalism

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Former U.S. Marine Jon Scudder, left, watches as a Metropolitan Transit Authority worker prepares to cover a vandalized Vietnam War Memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles today.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Former Marine Jon Scudder, walks past a vandalized Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles today.

LOS ANGELES » A pair of Marines on leave from their base in California’s high desert answered the Memorial Day call today, bringing dozens of American flags to try to dress up a vandalized Vietnam War memorial until it can be repaired.

The wall, adjacent to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus yard in the city’s Venice Beach section, was tagged earlier in the week. Metro officials said today they had hoped to work with community volunteers to clean it up quickly but discovered it was too badly damaged.

“We were initially hopeful that the graffiti could be removed without damaging the memorial, but Metro’s contractor says the damage is too extensive,” the agency said in a statement.

Metro workers instead covered it with a tarp until it can be repaired.

That’s when Pfc. Joseph Dudley showed up with a friend and the flags, arriving from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, where he’s stationed.

“Me and my buddy, we were down in Venice Beach with my parents for the weekend and we heard what happened so we bought $100 worth of flags and are just down here to try to hang them up. Just to kind of give back to the people who are on the wall,” he said.

The memorial, dedicated in 1992, contains the names of 2,273 prisoners or soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam War. It was spray-painted from one end to the other with large graffiti tags. Metro officials said many of its names will have to be re-inscribed.

“All of a sudden for this to happen after almost 30 years is just appalling,” said construction contractor Jon Scudder, himself a Marine veteran.

Scudder had hoped he and other volunteers could repair it by Monday, but now they’ll have to wait.

“It’s like putting graffiti on the wall in Washington,” he said of the national Vietnam War Memorial. “You just don’t do that. I don’t what’s going on in people’s minds.”

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  • “You just don’t do that. I don’t [know] what’s going on in people’s minds.”

    What’s going on in some people’s minds? Not a lot, apparently.

  • No one was asking you to praise them, yet you took it upon yourselves to mar their names. That took effort, little people – a sickening amount of it. The next time you feel like viewing the world through spray paint, try a direct application of it to your eyes.

  • There’s no end toward evil! These wayward ones from the bottom of the barrels of our human race, are too weak to stand up against evil entities. They are the ones whose souls are shrouded with evil inclinations! How else then can one explain this evil deed! Have they lost their hearts and souls that they are not able to fathomed the hurt and sadnesses cause by their desire to embraced evil? Thank heaven they can’t touch the hearts and memories of the families of our fallen heroes. Their names and the wall were tampered by these evil incarnations and will either be replaced or fix but, the love that is in each of us, the families, friends and fellow Americans can never be destroyed!

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