HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A patriotic mural on Nimitz Highway in Mapunapuna has been destroyed by vandals but there are plans to restore it.
Ron Artis painted the mural of an American flag and bald eagle right after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. His dad was in the Pentagon when the plane crashed into the building. Artis died nearly four years ago, which makes the vandalism even tougher to see.
"It's a little bit more than a shame it's painful to us and the community," said Victoria Artis, Ron Artis' widow.
Artis' wife says he painted nearly 1,000 pieces around the island. Many are patriotic and only a few have been vandalized.
"Ron did the patriotic pieces not only because he was a veteran but because he was a true patriot. Everything we do is about God, country and family. Everything we do reflects that," said Victoria Artis.
Ron Artis was in the Navy and a Vietnam Veteran as well as an assistant chaplain at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The wall where the mural is located is on the back of Island Demo facing Nimitz Highway. Mike Leary is the owner and a US Marine and Vietnam Veteran.
"It disturbs me that people would deface an American flag in this country," said Leary. "The real spirit of Veterans, of the ones who served is in the heart. We know what we did. Just because they deface it they can't take that away from us."
Artis passed his musical and artistic genes down to his 11 children who plan to restore the mural. Leary Estimates it will cost about $5,000 to paint the 100 foot mural.
If you'd like to help them paint with pride you can make a donation to the Pure Heaven nonprofit. Contact information is below.
Pure Heaven Foundation
Haleiwa, HI 96712