Vandalized Vietnam Memorial in Venice, now restored, unveiled on Memorial Day

Source: Southern California Gas Co.

A $10,000 donation to the Venice Chamber of Commerce by energy company SoCalGas helped fund the restoration of a POW/MIA mural damaged by vandals during Memorial Day weekend last year.

Energy Company, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), will help unveil the recently restored POW/MIA mural that was vandalized in Venice, California a year ago.  After the defacement, SoCalGas donated $10,000 toward the mural’s restoration. Other companies and organizations followed suit, giving additional monies to the effort. The unveiling ceremony for the newly restored mural is scheduled for Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day) at 10:30 a.m. at 614 Pacific Avenue, Venice, CA.  

“When SoCalGas first learned about the vandalized Vietnam War Memorial mural, we were quick to take action because it is engrained in our Company’s culture to assist and recognize military veterans and their families,” said Mike McNeil, advisor for human resources, diversity and inclusion for SoCalGas. “Veterans represent about five percent of our workforce. What’s more, SoCalGas offers an employee resources group — Veterans Advancing Leading and Optimizing Results (VALOR) — dedicated to supporting veterans within the company and in the communities SoCalGas serves.”

"Neighbors in Venice and veterans from throughout the region were disgusted by the criminal defacement of this mural," said Councilmember Mike Bonin. "It took a focused and inclusive community effort to begin restoring the mural and I greatly appreciate the role that SoCalGas played in helping fund the needed restoration work."

“Like so many, I was deeply disturbed when this important local mural was defaced last year and I am grateful to SoCalGas for generously demonstrating civic leadership and stepping up to restore it,” said LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

“Thanks to the support of companies like SoCalGas, Venice’s POW/MIA mural was restored for local businesses and the community to enjoy this Memorial Day and throughout the year,” said Donna Lasman, executive director for the Venice Chamber of Commerce.

SoCalGas supports numerous nonprofit organizations and events dedicated to assisting veterans, including: New Directions for Veterans, Strength in Support veterans resource fair, Foundation for Women Warriors, Heroes Hall Museum, Soldiers’ Angels and more.

The Venice POW/MIA mural was dedicated to American servicemen who served in Vietnam, specifically prisoners of war and those missing in action. The mural includes 2,273 names. Peter Stewart, a veteran, organized the Vietnam veterans’ mural project working alongside other veteran volunteers in 1991. The wall has stood for over two decades as a reminder of those soldiers who should not be forgotten.

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