30 May 2020
DEMONSTRATION AND RIOT IN THE CITY OF LA MESA AND IMPACT ON OUR CLUB
In what started as a peaceful demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement within the City of La Mesa, the evening of 30 May 2020 descended into chaos when the La Mesa Police Station suddenly came under attack. This was followed by attacks on City Hall; the complete burning of two local banks, the railroad museum, vehicles and a fire truck; the looting of Walmart, Target, Vons, and some small businesses; and to the after-the-fact shock and non-sensical reaction of the community and our members, the burning of American and POW/MIA flags at American Legion La Mesa Post 282 and damage to our facility. The flags that flew over the Vietnam Memorial, adjacent to the facility, were taken and replaced by an unknown flag. The flag in the front of the facility was completely burned. Other damage included graffiti sprayed over the entire building and the breaking of two very large hall windows, the window above the hall entrance doors, and one smaller.
Due to road blockages and an imposed curfew, Commander Porath first assessed the building early on Sunday morning and to his surprise found community and veteran volunteers (many from different Posts and affiliations) already cleaning the areas and facility. The volunteer group quickly swelled and consisted of facility membership, members from other Legion and VFW Posts, strangers, and La Mesa Boy Scout Troop 51. Their work included painting over the graffiti, power washing, facility repairs, temporary covering of the broken windows, tear-gas cleanup, and some repair and painting of the Vietnam Memorial. Due to the vandalism, the entire building will need to be repainted. The other repairs have been made, but the unexpected cost of repainting is out of reach of the Club.
A few days later it was found the climber was Cory Boyd and that he replaced the burned flag with one of his own along with a new lanyard, and that his brother Derek assisted. Because of their actions, the American Legion National Commander has personally provided his appreciation via a personal video, certificate, and challenge coin. On 25 June, the Commander of Post 282 and membership (all organizations) formally provided recognition to include paid membership for the 2020-2021 year for the American Legion (Derek is a combat veteran) and the Sons of the American Legion (Cory is eligible).
If you would like to make a donation to help our facility recover from the recent protests, please CLICK HERE!
or - You may stop by and drop off cash or a check (made out to) American Legion Post282 at the canteen during normal hours of business.
or - Mail your check or Money Order to: American Legion Post282
8118 University Avenue
La Mesa, CA 91942-5568
Your donation is 100% tax deductible. You will receive a letter of acknowledgment and proof of payment.
We thank you in advance for your generous donation, regardless of the amount.
Remnants of our flag after vandals burned her and damaged our post!
For more photos of damage done go to: http://www.lamesapost282.org/site/photogallery.php?cat_id=28