FALL RIVER (CBS) – Hundreds turned out for a vigil Tuesday night at the Hebrew Cemetery of Fall River where 59 gravestones were vandalized with messages of hate.
They stood shoulder to shoulder sending a clear message to the vandals who scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on the headstones.
“On one of the headstones the words ‘expel the Jews’ were written. And we have a message for the individual who wrote it. We will not be expelled. We will not remain silent,” said Robert Trestan, director of the New England Anti-Defamation League.
They prayed, sang, stood as one and when it was over, some went back to the graveyard visiting loved ones.
Anita Bolski’s parents are buried there. She was thankful for the support.
“Somebody covered me with a blanket when I sat down,” she said. “Somebody I didn’t know. The outpouring is heartwarming.”
In the end, despite the pain, the message was healing.
“This was such a horrific incident. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything this bad before in my life,” said 91-year-old Bill Chebot. “I think this gathering tonight, this wonderful service, the people who spoke, really touched my heart.”
The investigation also now includes the FBI but so far no arrests have been made.