Vandals deface Mingus Park cross

2013-05-20T13:06:00Z 2013-10-27T15:49:53Z Vandals deface Mingus Park crossBy Thomas Moriarty, The World Coos Bay World
May 20, 2013 1:06 pm  • 

COOS BAY — A contested war memorial cross in Mingus Park has apparently become the target of vandals.

Sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, persons unknown wrote the word “remove” on the intersection of the Mingus Park Vietnam War Memorial cross’ main beams, and drew perforation marks at its base. An arrow topped with the word “cut” points to the dotted line.

Capt. Chris Chapanar of Coos Bay police said the department first received a report at 10:30 a.m. An officer went to the scene to take photos and file a report, but Chapanar said the department has no suspects at this time. “It’s basically a pending investigation,” he said.

The graffiti was removed from the cross by Tuesday morning.

The cross, which tops a memorial first installed in 1972, has been at the center of a legal and cultural battle since the city received a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation in February. The group, which opposes religious symbolism on public property, claims the cross is unconstitutional and wants it removed.

Following a packed public meeting at the Coos Bay Public Library in March, the city retained the services of the Texas-based Liberty Institute to conduct a legal assessment of the memorial. The institute is a conservative advocacy group with a history of defending war memorials with religious symbols.

City Manager Roger Craddock said the city hopes to have the results of the assessment in hand by the end of May.

Reporter Thomas Moriarty can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or by email at thomas.moriarty Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

Copyright 2015 Coos Bay World. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(26) Comments

  1. lambchops
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    lambchops - May 28, 2013 7:06 am
    104,366 American servicemen and women were buried in France, Belgium, England, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands and each and every grave was memorialized with a white cross. The American ideal of fighting to preserve freedom crosses all generations and oceans. The men and women who died in Vietnam also had to cross the ocean to die, why don't you think of the white cross as a crossroad?
  2. veracity
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    veracity - May 24, 2013 3:32 pm
    Not all who wish to retain the authentic memorial are Christians, despite what you may want to believe. Two. You can be supportive those religions in the coarse of an afternoon if you wish, or none, or all at once. It does not matter to a crossing, a star, the color green, or a lotus flower. The utility of these things in general will exist with or without your approval or belief. They do not promote a place of worship, a church, any more so than a utility pole. Destroying them promotes bigotry
  3. james31254
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    james31254 - May 24, 2013 11:04 am
    As Geno activist for all said, My mental state has been harmed and I too am offended by your username. Perhaps we should sue you and force you to change it. After all it would be using the very same logic that you are using when it comes to the cross in Mingus Park. What is good for one should be good for all. Right Lady Godfrey?
  4. james31254
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    james31254 - May 23, 2013 10:46 am
    I would be willing to buy her a one way ticket to Russia and she how she likes living there.
  5. james31254
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    james31254 - May 23, 2013 10:42 am
    @darlaD Like I said, "I can choose to acknowledge the symbol or not." and that would include whatever symbol. I never said that all vets are Christian. I am just saying the cross is there already and it is not illegal, thus nobody has a right to force it to be removed under the Constitution, because that is not what the Constitution is about.
  6. darlaD
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    darlaD - May 23, 2013 2:39 am
    I find the vandalism to be deplorable as well, but I do have to wonder if those so adamant about religious expression on public property would be so supportive of another religion's symbol...say Wiccan or Islam or Hinduism? After all, you insist it is freedom of religion and not from religion. I think everyone who lives in this country knows what a sacrifice the men and women who have served it (and currently serve it) have made. Not all Vets are Christian, despite what you may want to believe.
  7. DannyGS
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    DannyGS - May 22, 2013 11:49 am
  8. Geno activist for all
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    Geno activist for all - May 22, 2013 12:58 am
    If Godfrey is an avatar that 'refer to: God Free, I find this abusive to be 'slander' Fun about my God! Perhaps, satire is just that satire, but even satire (jokes, humor) can be harmful. My 'mental state' has been harmed! These are my personal opinions and feelings and I'm stickin' to them!

    Gene~Landrum PhD.Q. Quantum Theory
  9. Geno activist for all
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    Geno activist for all - May 22, 2013 12:48 am
    Lady?God frey; It does not make it 'illegal' either! Show me the Civil Laws, Criminal Laws or Any Laws that makes this Monument a 'Law Breaker'!

    This Monument SPEAKS FOR MYSELF, other Viet Nam Veterans and especially those Veterans who cannot speak for themselves!!

    I would encourage the survivors of the 'Fallen' to come forward and speak for their Dead, but not Forgotten Loved Ones, who gave all!

    This Monument and others, located in other Public Area, Speak Volumes towards 'Free Express..
  10. james31254
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    james31254 - May 21, 2013 9:30 pm
    @Lady Godfrey You are wrong, the constitution does not provide you the right to eliminate religion and the cross is not unlawful. You are the one who does not understand.
  11. Lady Godfrey
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    Lady Godfrey - May 21, 2013 4:11 pm
    James, As Eastsider said, the constitution provides freedom FROM religion as part of freedom OF religion, you can't have the latter without the former. As for leaving the cross where it is, just because it's there doesn't make it right. Just because the majority want it there does not mean it's lawful. Why is it so hard to understand that?
  12. james31254
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    james31254 - May 21, 2013 3:01 pm
    @Eastsider. Ignorance is bliss, isn't it? Like it or not people are free to express religious symbols. Nobody is free to force others to not excercise that freedom. Ergo, the Constitution doesn't gaurantee either of us freedom from religion. You also have the freedom to acknowledge the cross or not, just as much as I would have the freedom to acknowledge any other symbol or not. Does that help?
  13. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - May 21, 2013 1:12 pm
    Freedom of religion means freedom from religion whether you like that or not.
  14. Eastsider
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    Eastsider - May 21, 2013 1:05 pm
    Yeah, it's wrong to deface public and private property. On the other hand, the memorial looks like something I could bang-out in an afternoon of work in my garage. Not to disparage the intent by the creators and my own personal handiwork, but we, as a community, could come up with something a whole lot better.
  15. Denton
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    Denton - May 21, 2013 12:26 pm
    Lady Goffey, you do not deserve to live in the United States. Raking up the past and urinating on the graves of those who fought in Vietnam is deplorable! Then, when you say it is un-Constitutional to have a cross (even if it was for religious purposes) shows you have no idea what the Constitution of the United States even says or a clue about the people who created it. If you do not like the Memorial, I would like to contribute to a one way ticket for you to another country....
  16. james31254
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    james31254 - May 21, 2013 10:41 am
    @Lady Godfrey. What you are missing here is, those that want the cross to be left where it is (me included) have just as much right to display it as you do to want it removed. It is already there leave it alone. However, your reason for removal is factually incorrect, It is not unconsitutional. The constitution provides freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. Again I ask, Why is it so hard to understand that?
  17. Lady Godfrey
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    Lady Godfrey - May 20, 2013 9:59 pm
    Heidi, I completely agree with you. I hope more mature, calmer heads prevail in this issue and it is resolved within the scope of law.
  18. Lady Godfrey
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    Lady Godfrey - May 20, 2013 9:50 pm
    Yes, like on Private Property!
  19. Lady Godfrey
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    Lady Godfrey - May 20, 2013 9:50 pm
    Randomcommenter - Is it really okay with you that the city is supporting an unconstitutional display? Or should Coos Bay stand up for what is right, not popular, and abide by the law? Why is it not enough for you to have your religion represented by your church on private property?
  20. Lady Godfrey
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    Lady Godfrey - May 20, 2013 9:42 pm
    As someone who strongly believes the cross on the memorial is unconstitutional and should be removed, I condemn and deplore the action of whoever did this.
    However, the defacement clearly defines what needs to be done in order to resolve this situation.
  21. Denton
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    Denton - May 20, 2013 9:13 pm
    Not sure if this was teens or an adult who did this. Someone has made it known that they are less than intelligent and do not deserve to live in this country or it's jails for that matter. I hope the police find these people before the vets do. Anyone with any common sense (these days, that number is pretty limited) knows you do not do this kind of things to any vet memorial. This has gone way too far. Police better find them fast....
  22. Heidi's mom
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    Heidi's mom - May 20, 2013 7:02 pm
    This act of vandalism makes me so, so sad. I hope the culprits get caught soon. The non removal or removal action is being debated now. The person or persons who did this are criminals. Vandals, are you so against this memorial that you can't even wait for the outcome? or is all about the 15 minutes of fame you think you will get from this terrible act. When you get caught I hope you get the strongest punishment allowed by law for this terrible and unnecessary act.
  23. Retread
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    Retread - May 20, 2013 6:27 pm
    Yo, Collins. That memorial has been "visible" for 41 years. The only difference is that we now have a new generation of self-indulgent, me-first redneck uneducated morons who have zero respect for others or for public property. The world, apparently, revolves around them and only them. Personally, I hope our local veterans find the culprits.
  24. DHCollins
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    DHCollins - May 20, 2013 4:51 pm
    Now, didn't I warn about this early on? It's a sitting duck for valdalism simply because it's become visible. Vandalism may do what we have assigned to various legal processes to do on our behalf.

    Of course, the smart thing to do now is rescue this cross from further damage and give it a protected home somewhere else.

  25. randomcommenter
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    randomcommenter - May 20, 2013 4:03 pm
    Let the cross be. If you don't like it don't look at it. It isn't like anyone HAS TO look at it...
  26. james31254
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    james31254 - May 20, 2013 3:07 pm
    Why am I not surprised somebody would do such a thing? Just shows the mentality of some people. Shame On You Whoever you are! Just because you don't like the fact that someone opposes the removal of the cross, doesn't mean you have a right to deface it. Oh, let me guess you were loosing the logical argument, so you had to resort to childish low IQ tactics to get your point across.
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