Just two days before the Fourth of July, flags were ripped from the graves of Civil War veterans in a Hudson cemetery, but the damage didn’t last long.
When veteran Daniel Shaughnasey heard about the vandalism on the news this evening, he filled his car with American flags and sped over to Cedar Park Cemetery to make sure the soldiers who fought for our country are honored properly this Independence Day.
“That's why I came in tonight to replace the flags so that all of our service veterans would have a flag for the Fourth of July,” Shaughnasey said.
With an armful of flags, Shaughnasey made his way to each of the gravestones in the Civil War section of the cemetery.
“They deserve the recognition, they have a flag on top of their stone, they have a flag now marking their grave,” Shaughnasey said.
Another concerned veteran, Vincent Wallace, said 35 of the 42 flags were broken or torn off the wooden staff.
The veterans said the flags weathered the recent hail storm, and they’re convinced this damage was done by vandals over the weekend.
“We really don't know the motive, it could be someone with a hatred for the government to take an action like this, or someone who took the flags for home decorations for the Fourth of July,” Wallace said.
“As a veteran, as an Elk, just as a citizen of the United States, it’s very sad to see something like this happen, it’s very heartbreaking,” Shaughnasey said.
And that feeling is shared by others who visit the cemetery often, like Dian Burch.
“This is home to a lot of my friends,” she said looking around the cemetery. “A lot of them.”
Burch recently planted flowers near her grandparents’ gravestone, but they didn't last long.
“When I went back to water them, they were gone, but the holes were there where the flowers were,” Burch said.
She said she isn't surprised by the recent damage, but hopes bringing attention to it will make those vandals think twice.
“Would they do it, if it were their parents, to their parents’ graves,?” Burch asked.
Wallace said this isn’t the first time that part of the cemetery has been hit. The vandalism always seems to happen in the days preceding major holidays.
There is a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
Hudson city officials are meeting with the members the local VFW, American Legion, and Elks Lodge Tuesday morning at in the cemetery.