Veterans

Hawaii lawmaker says homeless using war memorial as open latrine

A Hawaii state lawmaker is looking to add more protection to a Korean and Vietnam War Memorial that had been desecrated by some of the homeless population.

State Rep. Bob McDermott, R-Ewa Beach, said Friday the memorial, which stretches 100 feet in its Honolulu location, that some homeless residents were using it as an open latrine, according to Hawaii News Now.

"The homeless are nesting there and defecating there because it provides a degree of concealment. It's human waste – several piles along with clothing and needles and other trash. It's just terrible," he said.

The station reported that McDermott had taken photos of the vandalized memorial to see it in shambles. When he returned, he discovered that the mess got even worse.

McDermott sent a letter to the desk of Gov. David Ige on Thursday to notify him of what was happening. A spokesperson told the station that Ige had yet to receive the letter.

Edward Richardson, a former state adjutant general, said some of the names on the memorial were his friends and he said it “bothered” him to hear that the monument was being defaced.

"I was very bothered last night to hear it had deteriorated to a point where's it's become and embarrassment. There needs to be some form of security to ensure that people don't come here and mess it up," Richardson said.

The grounds around state Capitol buildings are regularly patrolled, the Department of Public Safety said. Officers who catch anyone breaking the law will hand out citations or possibly arrest the culprits.

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