Community found hundreds of graves desecrated with swastikas — and then they took action

Community found hundreds of graves desecrated with swastikas — and then they took action May 28, 2018

From The New York Times, a reminder in Illinois of our better angels. The Sunset Hill Memorial Estates Cemetery in Glen Carbon was vandalized over the weekend.  But then the community responded:

On Saturday, groundskeepers made a shocking discovery: More than 200 monuments and headstones had been vandalized, each spray-painted with a swastika.

Officials said volunteers swarmed the cemetery and quickly got to work scrubbing. Restaurants and businesses donated food and products, and people showed up asking what they could do to help.

As of late Sunday afternoon, officials said there were still a few headstones in need of touching up but that they would be ready by Monday.

“How do you take something like this and make it positive?” asked Jeanne Brunette, the manager of the cemetery. “You can’t all the way, but you can sure find out what our community is about.”

Ms. Brunette called the episode “devastating,” adding, after a pause: “I don’t even know how to describe it to you. There’s just tears and disillusionment and disappointment.”

What followed, she said, was an “outpouring of love.”

More than 26,000 people are buried at the cemetery, which is nondenominational. Ms. Brunette said the vandal did not appear to target any specific headstones.

The authorities said they arrested a 34-year-old Glen Carbon man in connection with the vandalism at the cemetery as well as swastikas spray-painted on houses in a subdivision in a neighboring community.

Read it all. 


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