GLOUCESTER (CBS) – Police are trying to find the person responsible for vandalizing several headstones at a historic Gloucester cemetery that had recently been restored. Headstones were knocked over and cracked at Clark Cemetery.
Richard and Kathy Clark and other volunteers have been working to restore the stones in recent years. But on Sunday when they arrived at the cemetery, they found several had been knocked over and cracked. Gloucester Civil War veterans are among those buried in the cemetery.READ MORE: 'Just Do The Right Thing': MBTA Bus Driver Finds Purse In Road, Returns It To Owner
Richard Clark was disgusted and frustrated as he sorted through broken pieces of a headstone marking the grave of his great aunt Frances, who died from typhoid fever as a teen in 1860.
“He put it back together like a puzzle,” said Kathy Clark. “He had her upright and back in her place and was proud of the fact he had her back in her place.”
It’s one of several dozen stones the Clarks have proudly repaired and restored on the burial ground named for his family.
“Cemeteries are meant to be respectful places for eternity,” Richard Clark said.
That’s the mission that brought the Clarks back to the North Shore five years ago after finding the place overgrown and neglected and they launched a volunteer effort to restore it and others like it.READ MORE: Air Quality Alert Issued As Massachusetts Fire Departments Field Smoke Reports From Western Wildfires
“That’s what I want for all of the old cemeteries. Simple respect,” Richard Clark said.
The two worst damaged stones had dozens of repair hours invested in them.
“It’s important that people step up and go, ‘this is somebody’s family,’” Richard Clark said.
The Clarks are considering motion sensitive cameras to head off a repeat.
“I’m sad for the people who did it, because that really says something about them,” Kathy Clark said.
No matter what happens with the, it won’t stop the restoration effort.MORE NEWS: Indoor Mask Mandate Begins In Provincetown Due To COVID Cluster
Anyone with information can contact Gloucester Police.