April 06, 2004
Veteran's memorial defaced

This is an outrage.

A gasp of disbelief, a sad shake of the head and a feeling of general disgust.

That's how San Marcos residents reacted Saturday morning at the sight of graffiti spray-painted on the still under construction Hays County Veterans Memorial.

Sometime overnight, someone used yellow spray paint to write "Kill Bush" on a section of the memorial where names of local veterans are displayed on a sloping wall. The same slogan, along with others, was repeated on the back of the memorial.

I don't know or care what was the motivation for this. Defacing and destroying property is never an appropriate or acceptable way to express a political viewpoint. Whoever did this should be ashamed, and I hope will get caught.

For those who would like to help:

Donations to help complete the marker can still be made, and are indeed more crucial now as clean-up will add to the overall cost. Contributions can be mailed to: Hays County Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 1503, San Marcos, TX, 78667-1503.

Via El Gato.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 06, 2004 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack

I'm a vet and this story saddens me for a variety of reasons. I'm all for free speech. If someone wants to burn a flag to protest something, I'd give them the match. I had friends in the AF that thought I was nuts. But really that's why I served. I wanted to protect that right.

But this is different. The men and women of the armed forces who have given their lives in the service to the US don't get to chose where their country sends them. Until the mid-1970s and the end of the draft, many (most?) didn't get a choice to serve or not. And defacing something that honors them for their sacrifice, will certainly not engender a great deal of goodwill for that Anti-Bush sentiment in Hays County.

Furthermore, the choice of the words "Kill Bush" make this much more than an act of political vandalism. Officially it's a "threat" on the President's life, so you can expect the FBI and Secret Service to assist in the investigation. And when they catch who did it, and they will, the offender had better be prepared for some significant federal charges.

Posted by: Patrick on April 6, 2004 4:24 PM

Patrick -- very, very well said, especially about flag burning. I detest flag burning personally, but the main reason I despise it is because it represents the freedom to do it. It's a bit paradoxical, but if the bottom line is that if you prohibit its burning -- either through legislation and an indifferent judiciary or a Constitutional amendment -- then it will no longer symbolize the freedom that makes your gut feeling the one that wants to protect it.

Posted by: Tim on April 6, 2004 7:16 PM

Come on guys, where is your skepticism? Let me play devil's advocate.

Look at the pictures. The defacement is on a small area, in spray paint on shiny tiles. Anyone could get that paint off in a half hour with a rag and paint thinner. This was not done by someone with the intention of defacing the monument. This was done by someone trying to minimize the damage.
This whole thing is a publicity stunt, a hoax to manufacture outrage in order to bring in floods of contributions for their failing monument project.

Posted by: Charles E on April 7, 2004 1:19 AM

Charles E, I suppose anything is possible, but given the actual messages I'm not inclined to think that is the case. It sounds to me like youthful political overexuberance.

But I suspect we will find out the real story sooner than most vandalism cases because of the "threat" in the message.

Posted by: Patrick on April 7, 2004 8:02 AM