By: Natalie Kinstle, HCHS Tiger Times News, February 24th, 2017
For some families, losing a loved one can be difficult. They become stricken with grief. Some spend days, months, even years thinking about the lives of important people in their own life that are no longer here. Headstones are used to mark people’s lives. They dedicate respect towards the years lived and memories within a person’s life. Headstones can put family members’ thoughts at ease by giving them a sense that their loved one is still with them. Though they are just rocks in the ground with words engraved on them, headstones have a lot of impact.
Locally, in Harris County, there have been incidents of vandalism in cemeteries. Last fall, vandalists came across the Sardis Cemetery. There were some headstones destroyed. One of the headstones had been marked with yellow paint. A beer can had been hung on a tree within the cemetery, with what appeared to be holes from target shooting with a gun.
People have problems with cemetery vandalism in many other places. Sixty-nine bomb threats were recently made to fifty-four Jewish centers in the United States and Canada. Last weekend, one of Missouri’s oldest Jewish cemeteries was vandalized a day prior to the threats. Burials in this cemetery began in as early as the 1890s. The land the cemetery is located on was purchased by a group of Jewish immigrants from Russia. More than one hundred of some of the oldest headstones were toppled and damaged. This event has resulted in even more tension within the Jewish communities, because many feel that the vandalism was driven by antisemitism. Jewish families have been visiting the cemetery in hopes that their loved ones’ graves are unaffected. “A lot of people are coming out to the cemetery. They’re just interested to see, ‘Was their loved one’s monument affected by this?’ ” , source Phillip Weiss reports to CNN.
President Donald Trump addressed the problem on Tuesday. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil” President Donald Trump states.
Workers used crane trucks to put some headstones back in
place. Other headstones were too damaged, and were documented for total replacement. Although the damage done to some families hearts is irreparable, workers and other people are doing their best to fix the physical damage. Muslim groups raised thousands to help repair the vandalized Jewish Cemetery. Students, Churches, and many others have contributed to the clean up as well.
“This is horrible. And the families- they have to go through a grieving process all over again.” Anita Feigenbaum reports to source NPR. “This family is all family. These stones are all our stones. No matter who’s here, they’re my family. They’re Jews who have been desecrated.” states Judy Serkes.
CNN, NPR, USA Today, The Week Magazine