Graffiti defaces Vietnam War memorial in San Jose

By On August 28, 2018

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.

“We’ve had e-mails and texts from families, they are so upset,” said Fernandez, a Vietnam veteran who also taught 31 years in the San Jose Unified and East Side Union high school districts. “Those are the people they hurt.”

“We’re on the outside. We can try and get it fixed. But that’s right to their hearts, damaging that wall.”

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 “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” 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 “Vietnam War” 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.

A memorial honoring the 142 San Jose residents who died in the Vietnam War was vandalized on Aug. 25, 2018.

“It’s in the granite,” Fernandez said. “It sounds like a real task. I don’t know how we repair that, if he can’t do it.”

Fernandez said the foundation has been flooded with emails and texts from people wanting to make donations to fix the memorial.

“We’re going to get it done,” Fernandez said. “There no way I’m going let it stay defaced. Eight guys on that wall are guys I went to high school with.

“It’s personal. We’ll get it done.”

Donations to the Sons of San Jose memorial can be made by visiting the group’s website at www.sjwarmemorial.com.

Source: Google News Vietnam | Netizen 24 Vietnam

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