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March 15, 2015 (La Mesa) - A war memorial in La Mesa has been vandalized for the second time in two years.  The memorial is located next to the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall.

On Monday, 10 News reports that last week, vandals tried to pry off two metal plaques honoring East County Vietnam veterans.  Back in 2013, thieves did steal two plaques, which were replaced with help from community donations.

Oresta Johnson’s father was the stone mason who built the memorial 45 years ago.  She called the vandalism “disheartening” and noted that the plaques do not have much monetary value. 

But they do have great emotional value for the families of loved ones who gave their lives for their country.  Johnson told 10 News that La Mesa’s memorial was built to honor all who sacrificed their lives, adding that it’s “cherished by so many people.”

The La Mesa Police Department is investigating this crime. Meanwhile, families hope new security cameras in the area will deter future vandals.

The memorial was created by the Heartland Youth for Decency group back in 1970, which was started by Ellis and Virginia Evers and included many local high school students.  It was among the first memorials in the nation to honor veterans of the Vietnam conflict.

Donations to help maintain the monument may be made to the Heartland Youth for Decency organization, which has a website at

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