"I am proud to be Lincoln's Mayor. In our community, we respect each other. We welcome all people. We stand up for one another.
"That's why I condemn the recent incidents of hate graffiti including swastikas, lewd language, racial slurs and anti-LGBT messages. I thank all those who came out this weekend to help clean up the properties of those targeted in the East Campus neighborhood. And I know my fellow residents join me in declaring that this community has no tolerance for any form of hate speech.
"It is particularly troubling that some of the neo-Nazi graffiti was found at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Antelope Park on the day before we dedicated a monument honoring Gold Star Families who lost loved ones defending our country in the Armed Forces.
"These neo-Nazi symbols were found on the monument to those who fought in World War II against the racial and ethnic terror represented by the Nazis. It is as if the perpetrators didn't understand that the Nazis exterminated six million Jewish people, or that 40 million others died during World War II as a result of their twisted dreams of a master race dominating the world.
"It is unacceptable that some would use these symbols today to send messages of hate to our fellow residents. They tell our immigrant families that they aren't welcome. They intimidate our gay, lesbian, and transgendered neighbors. They say to our people of color that they aren't equal.
"Our fellow citizens need to know that we stand with them, and that the America we believe in values justice, brotherhood and unity, not hate, racism and division.
"The Veterans Memorial Garden is a stirring tribute to our sense of American unity. Two benches at the World War II monument speak to our steadfast belief in our fellow Americans and our willingness to sacrifice for the American way. The inscriptions read, 'All gave some . . . Some gave all.'
"In signing the Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, I pledged to do all I can to rebuke hate and promote peace in our City. The City Council recently passed a resolution rejecting racism, bigotry, hate toward any group in our community. Please join us in standing up for the very values for which many valiant men and women fought and died by condemning these expressions of hate and bigotry."