Graffiti defaces Vietnam War memorial in San Jose
SAN JOSE â" For the second time in about two years, a memorial honoring the 142 San Jose residents who died in the Vietnam War has been vandalized.
Vandals painted graffiti on the granite memorial located on West Santa Clara Street, steps away from the SAP Center.
The vandalism has deeply affected the San Jose families whose loved ones have their names etched on the wall, according to Dennis Fernandez, one of the people who helped build the memorial.
âWeâve had e-mails and texts from families, they are so upset,â said Fernandez, a Vietnam veteran who also taught 31 years in the San Jose Unified and East Side Union high school districts. âThose are the people they hurt.â
âWeâre on the outside. We can try and get it fixed. But thatâs right to their hearts, damaging that wall.â
The memorial â" spearheaded by Fernandez, Mike Salas and the late Frank Lopez â" was dedicated in March 2013. The group holds a remembrance ceremony on or around March 30, which has also been marked âWelcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,â by reading the names of the fallen veterans.
About two years ago, vandals splashed red paint on the side of the memorial where the names are etched. That repair cost about $3,000, Fernandez said.
Fernandez, who serves as board president of the San Jose âVietnam Warâ Memorial Foundation, Inc., said an effort Monday night to clean up the granite memorial was unsuccessful. Fernandez said the same man who repaired the memorial two years ago is attempting to clean it again.
âItâs in the granite,â Fernandez said. âIt sounds like a real task. I donât know how we repair that, if he canât do it.â
Fernandez said the foundation has been flooded with emails and texts from people wanting to make donations to fix the memorial.
âWeâre going to get it done,â Fernandez said. âThere no way Iâm going let it stay defaced. Eight guys on that wall are guys I went to high school with.
âItâs personal. Weâll get it done.â
Donations to the Sons of San Jose memorial can be made by visiting the groupâs website at www.sjwarmemorial.com.Source: Google News Vietnam | Netizen 24 Vietnam