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Video: Skateboarder rides on top of California veterans memorial

Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Calif. (Google Maps/Released)
May 27, 2020

Last week, a skateboarder was caught on video using the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Calif. as a ramp.

Video of the incident was first shared by San Diego resident Bill Bender, and has since sparked public outrage, CNN reported.

The skateboarder has not been identified yet, but is shown riding his skateboard on the sidewalls and the top of the black granite walls of the memorial, as onlookers watch. The San Diego Police Department said they did see the video on Facebook and are investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.

The memorial displays the names and photos of more than 5,000 American military service members. Visitors from across the country come to the memorial, which includes plaques for both living veterans and those who lost their lives serving the country.

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“The memorial dates back to 1952 and honors veterans, living or deceased, from the Revolutionary War to the current war on terrorism,” according to the memorial’s website.

Neil O’Connell, President and CEO of Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial said in a Facebook statement, “I’m appalled at such disregard and carelessness.”

O’Connell said no damage was done to the memorial but added, “Our granite walls require constant care by volunteers due to the atmosphere. It’s a lot of work. But come on, how disrespectful is it to ride skateboards over the tops and edges of this fine surface.”

“We would ask that everybody remember to honor the sanctity of the MT Soledad National Veterans Memorial and respect the sacrifices of our veterans who are honored here,” O’Connell said. “Especially to be considerate of their families and loved ones who hold the memorial plaques so close in their hearts.”

O’Connell later confirmed that there was no damage found to the memorial.

Facebook has since removed the video of the skateboarder, but not before many had the chance to view it.

One viewer, Don Hotz, whose father and uncle are memorialized on the plaques said, “I know what it’s like to be a kid and a skater but this where frankly I draw the line. If you’re listening guys, I would appreciate it if you would not do that kind of thing. That’s disrespectful to men that spend their lives protecting what we have today.”

Stephen Garrett of North Park, whose wife’s uncle’s name is etched on the memorial said, “I don’t know if it’s a lack of education, really knowing what our ancestors went through,” NBC San Diego reported.

Garret added, “He landed on Iwo Jima, the devastation at Iwo Jima, and he was a medic. This is a place which pays honor to those who gave their lives for us and for our freedoms, especially as we reflect on this Memorial Day.”