SAN DIEGO — A memorial at Liberty Station that honors veterans who served on submarines during World War II is falling apart.

Veteran and founder of 52 Boats Memorial, Douglas Smay, is looking for someone to help replace the monuments.

“We are looking now for a company who can make poured stone or concrete replica monuments for us,” said Smay.

The monument is a very important part of keeping history alive, especially for the loved ones of those men that lost their lives, said Smay.

“They’ll leave flowers and notes on the memorial, so it’s very moving for us,” Smay said.

Smay says the monuments were supposed to last a lifetime but instead, “a lifetime turns out to be 10 or 12 years.”

The organization dedicated to maintaining the monuments already has 52 replacement plaques. Now, they just need to find a company that can help with the granite base.

Some of the monuments have sun damage, cracks, bases completely destroyed and even missing plaques.

Smay says he will never understand someone defacing a memorial.

“These monuments memorialize their service to their country,” he said.

The company which made the monuments filed for bankruptcy right after finishing in 2010 and the company set to replace them didn’t survive the pandemic.

“They went under, unfortunately, and we have to find a new vendor now, and we don’t know what the new cost will be,” said Smay.

Right now, Smay says they have allocated $2,300 per monument to be replaced and hope they can find someone to stay within their budget.

“Our total objective here is to maintain this memorial and we recognize we have a job to do. We are ready to do that job. We just need outside help,” said Smay.

You can contact 52 Boats Memorial here.