by Rick Winterson
A positive report on Sunday’s Parade and the spectators’ overall behavior was unfortunately balanced by a downside report on Monday morning. The striking World War II Memorial on the beach at the beginning of the Pleasure Bay Causeway to Castle Island was vandalized. A large quantity of an oily liquid was poured over most of the front, street-facing surfaces of this Memorial. Whether this was connected to the crowds at Sunday’s Parade isn’t known at the moment, but State Police are investigating.
In one of those jarring coincidences, South Boston’s revered John Mullen, veteran and community activist, passed away on Monday also. Elected and appointed officials gathered in sadness at the Memorial’s site – sadness caused by the desecration there and the loss of John Mullen. At the end of the impromptu press conference held at the Memorial Tuesday morning, flags were lowered to half-mast. City Councilor Ed Flynn was quoted as saying, “As a 25 year member of the US Navy and Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, it is repugnant to me that anyone would deface a memorial dedicated to those who made the supreme sacrifice fighting against the Axis Powers, Hitler, and Nazi Germany to end the Holocaust, free Europe, and save the human race from pure evil. This cowardly act is in no way indicative of the true nature of the people of South Boston, who revealed their character by rushing to repair the memorial. The South Boston community and our entire country will always honor and pay tribute to our Veterans, Military, and Gold Star families for the sacrifices they have made in the name of freedom and democracy around the world.
Please examine the accompanying photos that show the stains are not paint, but oily in nature instead. Cleaning this off could be difficult; the technique to be used must be investigated first. The odor of the oily stains is not automotive or solvent-like. Rather, the stains smell like cooking oil. A stone mason has been called to inspect the Memorial and consult on stain removal. If you have any information about the desecration of the World War II Memorial, please pass it on to the State Police.