Vietnam vets memorial is vandalized with a swastika

The memorial had just been repaired and cleaned

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Massachusetts State Police

A Vietnam War memorial in Massachusetts was vandalized with "hate-related" graffiti in Dorchester, about six miles from Boston.

(CNN) - Several days before Memorial Day, a Vietnam War memorial in Massachusetts has been vandalized with "hate-related" graffiti.

Police are canvassing the area near the memorial in Dorchester, about six miles from Boston.

Early Thursday, flags were ripped down and tossed; dozens of plants were torn from the ground; and stone monuments were marked with hateful graffiti -- including a swastika -- according to a press release from the Massachusetts State Police.

The memorial is on a space owned by The University of Massachusetts Boston and includes the names of 80 Vietnam War veterans, according to the university.

"The University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts State Police condemn this despicable act and are conducting a thorough and coordinated investigation to determine who is responsible and to hold that person or persons accountable," the release said.

And this wasn't the first time the memorial was damaged.

Before Thursday's vandalism, crews had just finished cleaning and repairing the memorial from an October vandalism that caused thousands of dollars of damage, according to CNN affiliate WCVB.

In the first incident, bricks were thrown at a granite obelisk and an American flag was cut up, the station said.

Those with information are encouraged to call UMass Boston Police at 617-287-6084 or State Police at 617-740-7710.

CNN's Hollie Silverman and Andrea Diaz contributed to this report.

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