An open letter to cemetery vandals
I don’t understand this. Why do you feel the need to steal from the final resting place of someone’s wife, grandfather, infant daughter? Why do you take such enjoyment in destroying these historical markers of our fore-bearers? Or does that even enter your mind at all – as you’re breaking an 18th century headstone or tagging a beautiful family monument?
The people buried there could be my relatives. And who knows; they could even be YOUR relatives. Did you even think of that? Oh, that’s right – you WEREN’T thinking.
So, how would you like that; having some drunk or stoned dude taking a bat to your little sister’s headstone? SLAM! “Outta the PARK!! The crowd goes wild!!” Does the mere thought of that leave you with a sick feeling in your stomach or do you just shrug it off and mumble “Whatever.”?
“Oh, but it’s usually just kids being kids!”
So, is that you’re excuse as well? “Oh, I was just messin’ around with my bros! We meant no disrespect!” How can you say that? Vandalizing a cemetery has got to be one of the most disrespectful acts you could possibly do. “But I was drunk and only having some fun! I just got caught up in all the excitement!” No, you just didn’t CARE. Why? Because destroying 27 headstones is still called “cemetery mischief”.
When you’re caught and you will be, you’ll probably be given the usual punishment of cemetery clean-up or other community service, which is surely not enough. You should also have to assist in researching the family history of some of those people you had absolutely NO regard for. Kind of like a Who Do You Think You Are? meets Scared Straight to put a FACE on that deceased person you obviously had NO respect for.
Maybe after seeing these people come to life, you’ll realize that they WERE people, and not merely big stones that come out of the ground in a graveyard, primed for tipping. Though I will never understand how you could go on a cemetery-destroying spree, maybe YOU can understand what you’re actually doing when you and your buds topple those headstones. As it’s almost never just ONE you destroy.
In all fairness, I’m sure “Vandalising the Local Cemetery” wasn’t on your To-Do List that night and it was more like an idiotic non-decision you and your friends foolishly made. Therein lies the problem.
Graveyard Desecration wasn’t high up in your Things You Should NOT Do List. Because NOT Destroying a Cemetery needs be engrained and automatic for us all.
Remorse may eventually sink in for you the next few days. But then comes another one of your lame-ass excuses – the king of them all… “We were bored!” I say again – I don’t understand this.
And by the way, two sets of my Italian great-grandparents are buried at a family plot in Brockton’s Calvary Cemetery, just down the street from Union Cemetery in the first article. Fortunately, if you attempted to take down that towering gravestone, you would be justifiably flattened by it.
End note: I had to hold back some while writing this post and personally, the punishment would be FAR more severe for anyone convicted. I have NO tolerance for such ignorance and stupidity, as I believe those caught should be made an example of for others. So that we will NOT automatically refer to such mindless destruction as “cemetery mischief”.
Please pass this along, as Halloween is the time of year when much of the cemetery vandalism occurs. Many cemeteries now take (online) donations for maintenance and upkeep, so if you feel as strongly about this as I do, help out a local cemetery with a few bucks if you can. Because usually – the nicer the cemetery; the lesser the vandalism.
Besides writing letters to lowlifes, I can also research YOUR family history!