PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Vietnam War is a memory for Jim Moran, and every time someone disrespects that memory, the pain, for him, is real.
“They started to bust the wreaths up here and steal all the flowers out of there,” said Moran, pointing to the most recent desecration at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
“I wish it would stop, because it is heartbreaking.”
In his regular visits to the memorial that bears his brother’s name, Moran has noticed the desecration happening more often.
In the last three weeks, he said, he has found wreaths torn up and flags on the ground.
“It hurts all the families of the 646 men’s names that are on this wall.”
Security cameras provide the only way to see inside the memorial, because it is mostly closed off to a view from the street. A planned expansion would open up the memorial so people who drive by can see if anything is happening inside, like vandalism.
“Once the memorial is open, it will be a deterrent to these people who do despicable things down at the memorial,” said Terry Williamson, President of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Williamson said it will take another $500,000 to pay for the expansion, but the cause is priceless.
“We all have a responsibility for vigilance, not just for Vietnam, but for any other memorials out there.”
The recent vandalism, he said, is an attack on the memorial and the memory of those who served.
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Reported By Oren Liebermann, CBS 3