Here’s our video report on the wall’s defacement. Due to YouTube’s (lack of) clarity, it’s hard to see. But about two-thirds of the memorial was defaced along the bottom with some unknown chemical agent that soaked into the granite surface enough to discolor it. Several panels were evidently splashed with the same substance.

The Park Police originally stated that the discoloration was the result of a “cleaning accident,” but now they’re saying that it was vandalism, and they’re investigating:

The unidentified substance that was found splashed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial earlier this month was the result of vandalism, the U.S. Park Police said today.

Sgt. Robert Lachance, a spokesman for the Park Police, said the investigation into the incident is continuing, but the detective on the case had ruled it an act of vandalism. Lachance said he could provide no more details because the probe is still underway.

The oily substance was first reported to police the evening of Sept. 7, National Park Service officials have said. Dark blotches were found along a stone curb at the base of the memorial for most of its length, and at least two of the wall’s panels appeared to have had something splashed on them.

There is a reward for information that leads to the perpetrators.

Update: I see a few folks down in comments, questioning the timing and so forth since the vandalism occurred before the big die in and counter protest, but the Park Service didn’t announce that it was indeed vandalism until after the festivities. What are all you people, paranoid or something?