The National World War II memorial was one of several monuments on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that were plastered with graffiti over the weekend.
In the wake of last night's demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall. For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition. pic.twitter.com/LmIHfW2AHj
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 31, 2020
The vandalism came amid days of protest and unrest in numerous cities, including D.C., over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
Written on the World War II Memorial in spray paint is the question, “Do black vets count?”
.@NationalMallNPS reports vandalism at #WWII Memorial. Question posed here conveys heartache, isolation & anger felt by many in #AfricanAmerican community. Answer: YES, the #WW2 Memorial remembers & honors the 1 million Black men & women who served #WeRememberThem #BlackVetsCount pic.twitter.com/i3IewSvDSr
— WWII Memorial Friends (@WWIIMemorial) May 31, 2020
In a statement, Veterans of Foreign Wars' national commander William “Doc” Schmitz wrote that the organization believes in “peaceful, organized demonstrations. That is the right of every American.”
“However, we are extremely saddened and angered to find that our sacred World War II Memorial was defaced,” Schmitz wrote. “The veterans who fought for the very freedom to demonstrate deserve better and we condemn those who determined the memorial was worth vandalizing.”
Cleaning graffiti off of the World War II Monument, just 6 days after Memorial Day. pic.twitter.com/NavghZePVk
— Bryce Klehm (@BryceKlehm) May 31, 2020
According to the National Park Services, other monuments were also vandalized, including the Lincoln Memorial, where another message asked “Ya'll not tired yet?”