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Vandals destroy graves of Michigan veterans over Memorial Day Weekend

Fourteen headstones at a historic cemetery in Flat Rock, Michigan, were destroyed on the eve of Memorial Day weekend. Some of the graves belonged to veterans of wars in the early to mid-1800s. The cemetery was the original burial site of Revolutionary War veteran Michael Vreeland and his descendants who served in the military. Vreeland was also the founder of Flat Rock, located south of Detroit.

Flat Rock Police Lt. Kevin Murphy described the vandalism as “indiscriminate.” He said, “I don’t think it was directed at veterans from what we gather so far.” However, the cemetery’s groundskeeper pointed out the timing of the incident over the Memorial Day weekend made it even worse. He placed American flags on the graves despite the destruction.

Visitors to the Vreeland Family Burying Ground spotted the damage and reported it to the authorities. The motive for the vandalism is unknown and no arrests have been made.

The burial ground is maintained by volunteers. According to the Flat Rock Historical Society, the city funded the restoration of several broken stones in 2014. “All of the stones that had been meticulously repaired a few years ago are again in pieces,” the society posted on its Facebook page. It is seeking donations to help pay for the repairs.

Sources:

  • http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2016/05/30/vandals-damage-headstones-of-veterans-at-flat-rock-cemetery/
  • http://www.hngn.com/articles/199964/20160531/michigan-graves-including-revolutionary-war-veterans-vandalized-memorial-day-weekend.htm
  • http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2016/05/30/vandals-hit-flat-rock-cemetery-including-vets-graves/85165056/

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