Halifax police say they're still investigating the latest shocking incident of vandalism in the city.

Over the weekend, suspects armed with spray-paint and other chemicals targeted the Sailors’ Memorial in Point Pleasant Park.

Volunteers and city workers staged an impromptu clean-up effort Monday and crews were back on Tuesday to finish the job.

It's the kind of job pressure-washers were made for, but removing paint from a monument containing the names of more than 3,200 sailors who died in the First and Second World Wars does seem like it should be an unnecessary task.

City crews arrived mid-afternoon to tackle the job, started by volunteers and veterans on Monday.

All of it was a bit much for those who've served, including Bernie Joyce, who said he felt a deep sense of sadness when he saw the graffiti.

“I've participated in the parades down at that monument for 40 years,” said Joyce.

Even to a layman observer, the latest incidents appears to be the same symbols and vulgar messages Haligonians have seen time-and-time this year, showing up on churches, in cemeteries, and elsewhere.

Police say they do look for patterns, and sometimes have suspects connected to certain tags.

“Whether some of those are specific enough to be attached to particular individuals, or if they just look similar, that would have to be determined through the investigative process,” said Halifax Regional Police Const. John MacLeod.

Mayor Mike Savage was perplexed.

“Why would somebody do this?” he said. “It's pointless, it’s useless, and it’s offensive.”

The mayor was tipped off to the latest incident after an early-morning text from his chief of staff.

While he is confident police will do what they can to find suspects, he admits there isn't much that can be done to prevent it.

“I don't know,” he said. “What are we going to do? Are we going to put guards at every single memorial we have in our municipality? I don't think so. But, if there's something we can learn from this, then we're certainly keen on that.”

Not surprisingly, Bernie wants accountability.

“It would be nice if some of the perpetrators were caught and brought to justice,” Joyce said.

He says that should include an education on the importance of the Sailors’ Memorial  and the sacrifices of the people immortalized there.

“And it was for those people that lost their lives that we are here today,” said Joyce.

A kind of sacrifice the people responsible have clearly never known.

Speaking with city crews on clean-up duty Tuesday, they noted that some of the graffiti showing up now isn't traditional spray-paint.  It appears to be a kind of rust inhibitor that leaves a permanent ghost stain, even after it’s washed off.

Compared to paint, it's a fairly expensive product, so it appears the people behind all of this are prepared to invest more than time in angering and upsetting a lot of people.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.