Vandals break as many as 40 headstones in a cemetery including some for veterans of the Civil War

BRUCE TWP., Mich. (WXYZ) - Headstone belonging to veterans of the Civil War were destroyed after vandals recently struck a cemetery in Bruce Township.

"This cemetery has been destroyed.  It's completely destroyed," said Richard Cory, the Bruce Township Supervisor.

You could hear the disbelief in his voice as he walked the Goodrich Cemetery and looked at the majority of the headstones desecrated.

"I said 'oh my God, this is unbelievable. ' But then I started looking around and it's the whole cemetery," said Cory.

Two weeks ago about 40 headstones were knocked over and destroyed.

"Why?" asked Cory.  "That's the whole thing.  That's what everyone keeps asking me.  Why?  Who knows?"

What is even more disturbing for him is that some of these graves belong to veterans of the Civil War. We found the headstone for veteran Truman Willets in pieces.  Vandals tried to move the monument for William Hamilton who died at the Battle of Stones River, off the foundation but they failed.

"Everything here took a major effort because when you see those three right there, that's big time effort," said Cory.

Word of the destruction made its way to a member of the National Guard because his mother lives nearby.  CW3 Anthony Kruckeberg is coming from Grand Ledge on September 21 with members of the National Guard and other volunteers to try and repair the damage. Until the group can get to Bruce Township, others have started the process.

"It's disgusting," said Frank Vallone.  Vallone drives by to keep an eye on things because he lives close to the cemetery.  He has picked up the headstones he could lift to try and restore some of the dignity.

"It's the right thing to do," said Vallone.

Bruce Township will submit an insurance claim for the headstones that cannot be repaired or put back in place. 

Police are asking for tips about whoever did the damage and if you know anything call CRIME STOPPERS at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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