ABC 30 Action News Fresno:
Merced County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the vandalism of a World War II memorial.
Photos show black writing all over the memorial at Courthouse Park. It’s located within Merced city limits at 21st and N Streets, but it’s on county property. The World War I Memorial in this same park was vandalized back in 2009.
It’s not clear when this latest case of graffiti happened, but someone had already started to clean it up by Saturday afternoon.
This wasn’t a political statement. It was simple vandalism.
The original Vandals were Germanic tribes that wandered around western Europe during the 5th Century.
Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, “sacking and looting” Rome. This led to the use of the term vandalism, to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the barbarian defacing of artworks. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period (from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages) as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture.
As a student of history I find the destruction of art, monuments and other human artifacts to be abhorrent. To me it’s even worse than burning books, because books are inherently less permanent in nature. We have barbarians wandering in our streets. They aren’t as savage as the barbarians of the Islamic State, but they have just as little respect for history, civilization and the rights of others.