Another Decatur Cemetery Vandalism Incident, Reward Offered

You may recall the report from a couple of weeks back regarding vandalism at the Decatur Cemetery.  A now reader writes in with another report…

 When volunteers arrived at Decatur Cemetery on Saturday morning to place flags for the “Salute to Veterans” commemoration on Sunday, November 11, they found graffiti spray painted on about 10 different very visible places in the old, most historic section of the cemetery. An unknown person or persons damaged several walls and the historic gazebo with racial and sexual slurs. This incident occured between the departure of the cemetery staff Friday evening the volunteers’ arrival about 9 AM Saturday.

Decatur police responded, a report was taken, and evidence was gathered.

While many school children and civic groups gave their time to honor those who fought for this country in every war since the American Revolution, the cemetery staff was busy trying to clean up or disguise the work of inconsiderate and malicious person or persons. The placement of the flags was delayed, but over 1000 flags were in place by noon.

A reward of at least several hundred dollars is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the damage. Officer Gilbert of Decatur Police is the investigating officer and any information should be given to him.

Come on, Decatur, we’re better than this!

18 thoughts on “Another Decatur Cemetery Vandalism Incident, Reward Offered”

  1. Someone spray painted the sidewalk on Columbia Drive (near the intersection with Shadowmoor) with the word “c*nt” fairly recently. It was blue spray paint. Wonder if its related. If so, the hooligan may live in Winnona Park.

  2. Maybe it’s the same person who painted the word that the youngsters these days call “the F bomb” on the electrical box thingie in front of Glennwood School.

    1. But much worse. I pity some bereaved family or individual who may have buried someone the morning after this incident, with this kind of disrespect in their faces. Like grief isn’t hard enough already.

      1. +1

        I hope these incidents don’t go unremarked around family dinner tables or at school. Children need to hear from their adults that this kind of vandalism is not petty, and that it is not merely disrespectful but can be viciously hurtful.

        1. Haven’t gone to cemetery to see it but this is not sounding like children anymore but like adults, or perhaps older teens, with criminal behavior. It’s beyond vandalism if racial slurs are involved.

          1. By “children” I meant anyone still under their parents’ control/influence/responsibility. And I think this is important not by way of trying to chastise the actual culprits (although that would be nice), but rather hoping people take the opportunity to let their youngsters know explicitly that it’s a very bad thing and how and why, instead of assuming the kids understand all that and really get it. IMO it presents the opportunity for a teachable moment that Opie Taylor’s dad would not let pass by.

            1. Agree. It cannot hurt to point out the bad example to our kids. Just think that racial slurs and anti-Semitic comments are not in the realm of youthful pranks and indicate some seriously disturbed hateful minds.

              1. I guess I feel more urgency about it than “cannot hurt to point it out.” Kids get bombarded with so much input via so many channels and they are still building their filters of critical, independent thinking. It makes me think of the Broken Window Theory — hate and destruction are not OK, even if it seems like individual instances are not that significant, because if we tolerate small things, then we’re more likely to overlook bigger things and it becomes more and more difficult to draw a line.

                Of course, I have no children and so am in a perfect position to judge and direct how the rest of you rear yours!

                  1. I didn’t say anyone is showing tolerance. I just said it’s an opportunity to reinforce ideas about what should and should not be tolerated, and I personally think it’s important so I’m being preachy about it.

                    1. It’s a fine recommendation, kids should know that cemeteries are to be respected. Kids also need to be aware of hate crimes. But hate crimes are indicative of a much more deeply disturbed or criminal personality than what a parental lecture is going to address. Toothpaste on graves a few weeks ago seemed possibly within the realm of kid’s pranks, although not if the perpetrators knew that toothpaste damaged headstones. Racial and anti-Semitic slurs are not even close to pranks. If children are involved, they indicate a longterm and deep behavior disorder. My guess is that it’s adults or older teens who already have a crime record of some sort.

                    2. We could take the racial and sexual slurs out of this incident and my comments would be the same. That aspect takes it to another level of meanness, sure. But without it, even if it then fell into the realm of “a kids’ prank” IMO it would also be a nasty deed with potential to cause vicious hurt to some unsuspecting, grieving persons, and therefore still something to be sure to air and discuss with kids. When I was 6 years old I knew better than to deface headstones, and I understood the reason was that it would cause grief to the families of the dead people. Then again, I also knew to sit still and be quiet in church, at a performance of any kind, not to run through stores, and to behave and not whine in restaurants. So maybe I’m just off on some middle-aged tangent of grumpiness.

                    3. Even today, I think most children and teens know not to deface headstones. Standards haven’t changed that much. It’s completely unacceptable as a prank and in fact, is a crime, no?

                      I don’t think we’re really disagreeing. You are interested in parents responding by using this as an example to teach about unacceptable behavior. I don’t disagree with that. I have a different interest but that doesn’t take away from yours. What frightens me is that this goes beyond a prank and is a hate crime. Hate crimes indicate a level of sociopathy that shouldn’t occur in our community.

  3. The fact that this has happened again, so shortly after the last vandalism episode, is worrisome. And this incident sounds worse.

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