News

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Defaced

Andover Townsman

Many veterans in town were disappointed to learn last week that someone had vandalized the town's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, requiring the 15-month-old memorial to be sandblasted Wednesday.

"We know that in no way does this reflect how the community feels about our veterans," said Michael Burke, director of veteran services.

The lyrics of a 1970s protest song and a reference to Iraq were scrawled on the monument in the Park. "War, what is it good for, absolutely nothin'," was written in red marker along with a peace sign.  The lyrics are from "War," a song that Motown soul singer Edwin Starr popularized in 1970.  

Near the base of the memorial where the phrase "our cause is just" is etched, a vandal wrote "just like in Iraq."  The markings were made with some kind of felt marker, which soaked into the stone, Burke said yesterday. Methuen Monument is helping the town repair the memorial, which was dedicated May 29, 2006.

While there was no structural damage, "the stone does need to be sandblasted," Burke said. He was not sure how much the work would cost, if anything, but said the town was grateful to the Methuen business for stepping in to help.  Police Lt. Harry Collins said the vandalism was under investigation.  Burke said this week he has talked to several veterans and longtime residents, and that no one could remember something like this happening in Andover.

"This is a disappointing event," he said. "This is an anomaly. If someone does have opposition, there are other ways to vocalize that."  In Haverhill earlier this summer, vandals ruined parts of a Korean War Memorial and spray-painted a World War II monument.

 http://www.theodoresworld.net/archives/2007/09/the_vietnam_veterans_memorial.html