Veterans say they are outraged after a Canadian war memorial dedicated to Korean War veterans was desecrated and smeared with human feces at the Mackenzie King Bridge in downtown Ottawa Monday afternoon.

The memorial is inscribed with the names of 516 Canadian soldiers who never returned after serving in Korea and represents more than 32,000 Canadians who served in the Korean War.

For former soldiers who served next to those who lost their lives in combat, the memorial's defacement is a disgrace.

"When I heard about it, I had to temper my anger and try to rationalize as to how it happened," Bill Black, a veteran of 33 years, told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.

The National Capital Commission, which is responsible for maintaining the condition of the war memorial, says staff cleaned up the mess that desecrated the monument within an hour of its discovery.

The incident, however, is not the first to occur in the nation's capital. In the summer of 2006, three young men were photographed urinating on the National War Memorial on Elgin Street.

"This, to me, is even worse because we're losing so many of our own soldiers and it's not showing very much respect," one resident told CTV Ottawa.

The latest defacement is now fuelling renewed calls for more to be done to protect monuments dedicated to the memory of Canada's fallen soldiers.

"We really want to find measures that will provide a secure site for visitors but also a positive experience so that people can enjoy the monuments," said Chantal Comeau of the National Capital Commission.

"I hope that we can do something about it that it never, ever recurs," said Black.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Jonathan Rotondo