Sometimes stories come along in which no matter how much disgust one expresses, it doesn’t seem like enough. This is one of those stories.
The UK Daily Mail reports that one of the oldest cemeteries in Georgia, a historical graveyard that serves as the final resting place for soldiers dating all the way back to the American Revolution, was desecrated by an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators who have dug up several graves and strewn the remains about the grounds.
American Legion Post 120 commander Leroy Bell Jr. discovered the disgusting crime at Old Church Cemetery, a site that dates back to 1758. The local American Legion post serves as caretakers for the cemetery.
Clothing buried with a soldier was removed, leaving his bones exposed, Burke County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Cochran said.
Among the soldiers desecrated were those dating back to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I, he said.
Relic hunting is a possible motive, he said, though authorities aren’t certain what the motivation was.
‘Most of the time when soldiers were buried, they were buried with their items to keep the enemy soldiers from getting them,’ Cochran said.
A small cast iron casket containing remains of 14-month Emma Jane McElmurray, buried in 1884, was removed and its contents dumped out, Bell said.
‘They took it completely out and dumped everything out in the perimeter of the family plot,’ Bell told The Associated Press on Wednesday […]
All of the buttons had been removed from the military clothing left on the ground, which appeared to be a soldier’s uniform coat, Bell said.
The exact items that were buried in specific graves are naturally unknown, making it difficult to ascertain for certain how much had been taken or its monetary value. The moral cost, however, is of course incalculable.
American Legion Post 120 planned to repair the damaged monuments and rededicate the desecrated military graves, though the complete job will take time due to the post’s small size. A $2,000 reward was offered for information leading to the identification and arrest of whoever is responsible for this heinous deed, with the American Legion also soliciting donations in the hopes of making the reward even larger.
“Somebody is very sick to do something like this, to desecrate a grave,” Bell told Fox 54 News. “We’ve never had it happen before as long as this cemetery has been here.”
“I thought ‘why in God’s name could anybody do anything like this?'” he also commented to the Associated Press. “I just can’t understand it, other than the fact they were wanting some kind of trinkets.”
Fortunately, Sgt. Cochran expressed confidence that it is only a matter of time before the culprits get greedy or stupid enough to slip up, and justice will eventually be done: “They are going to sell it to the wrong person. They are going to say something, they are going to do something and somebody is going to tell me.”
How sick does a person have to be to dig up a graveyard? Especially the graves of soldiers and an infant child…
Hat tip: Western Journalism