NATIONAL CITY - A group of veterans rallied Saturday morning in an effort to raise money that would go to replacing three war plaques stolen this week from a memorial in National City.
The brass-metal plaques were taken on the nights of March 16 and March 17 from Kimball Park in the 1200 block of D Avenue. The plates honored military that died in World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars. They had stood for more than 60 years.
“How dare somebody do this … especially a memorial that honored people that sacrificed their lives so they could live here,” said Diane Devries, who is with the American Legion Post 255.
Outrage over what happened has spread nationwide.
“It’s coming from the East Coast and so the word is out there … veterans stick together,” said Devries.
National City police suspect the thieves will try and sell them to scrap metal yards. Brass sells for approximately $1.40 a pound. Two of the plaques measure 3-by-4 feet, and the third was 4-by-5 feet in size. The largest weighs 120 pounds.
Saturday’s rally took place at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center. It was organized by the United Veterans Council of San Diego County. The group hopes to raise $20,000 to update the wall with new granite plaques that would also honor veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The granite would likely be more resistant to thieves.
The group on Saturday received a $5,000 donation from Qualcomm. Anyone can make a donation through the National City American Legion Post 255.
Anyone with information on the theft should call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.