BOSTON (WHDH) - Authorities are searching for a vandal accused of tagging a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Boston with graffiti, destroying American flags, and ripping up plants days before the Memorial Day holiday.

Troopers and UMass-Boston police responding to the memorial on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester on Thursday found several hateful messages, along with a swastika, written in black graffiti on the memorial’s stone pillars.

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Several plants were also ripped from the ground and flags were either destroyed or thrown into the water, state police said.

Vietnam veteran Joe Zinck and his wife had helped place the flags by the memorial with pride along with his wife just hours before the vandal struck.

“I don’t know why anybody would do anything like this here, especially on this weekend,” he said. “They have to be a sick individual with major issues.”

The historic memorial features the names of 80 servicemen from Dorchester who were killed during the Vietnam War.

Zinck, who also assisted in building the memorial in 1986, says he hopes the person who did this gets caught.

“We would like to find out who it was; maybe get them some help,” he said.

Police have released a surveillance image of the suspected vandal.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

This act of vandalism comes after a World War II memorial in South Boston and a memorial dedicated to fallen police officers in Mattapan were targeted in March.

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