Dartmouth residents are upset after someone painted a swastika on a rock to honour veterans. (Yvonne Colbert/CBC)

A north-end Dartmouth community is reeling after vandals defaced a makeshift war memorial with a swastika earlier this week.​

Eunice Parsons has spent hours trying to brighten a park in her neighbourhood, off Farrell Street, by painting rocks. She said the one closest to her heart is a white boulder on which she painted “Lest we forget” in black lettering.

“I feel bad for all those that passed away that fought for us and I thought something like this would be nice,” she said.

Parsons painted a poppy above the epitaph, but someone recently turned the red flower into a swastika.

"I'm just sick over it," she said.

Parsons is not alone. At the Royal Canadian Legion in downtown Dartmouth, where war medals adorn the walls, it's an emotional topic.

“I would say hang them high,” said Cliff Ashton, a navy veteran of the Second World War.

“To have somebody go in there and put a swastika on it is just as bad as desecrating a synagogue,” said fellow veteran Earl Bryan.

Halifax Regional Police said they hadn't received an official complaint so there isn't an investigation.

Despite the swastika, Parsons said she isn't giving up her efforts to honour veterans. She said she'll cover it up so people can come to the rock on Remembrance Day.