This is fun? I don’t get it.

Marker damaged by vandals Credit: Nabill K. Mark/CDT
Marker damaged by vandals
Damage done at the Boalsburg Cemetery is estimated to be in excess of $100,000. Credit: Nabill K. Mark/CDT
Damage done at the Boalsburg Cemetery is estimated to be in excess of $100,000.
The Boalsburg Cemetery was found vandalized Sunday with approximately 50 tombstones damaged. Credit: Nabill K. Mark/CDT

This was done last Saturday night. People just “out having fun?” I don’t get it.

The markers that were tipped over can be righted. The ones that are broken are gone forever. Possibly new ones can be made, but the originals are from the Civil War era in a place where Memorial Day was purportedly founded.

I’ve never understood the fun and the joy of damaging property. Restoring — yes. I get great joy from restoring something to former glory. Creating — yes. Again, I get great joy from creating. Hanging out in cemeteries — yes, I understand the draw of an old cemetery.

In my childhood, we would go at night to watch bats fly out from the belfry of an old church. The bats would swoop and dive for bugs. Sometimes we would try to scare each other with ghost stories while we were sitting among the old stones. Even in the dark we were careful not to lean or run into a headstone or a footstone for fear of doing damage.

In one old cemetery in the area, the Boy Scouts used to go and clean up the grounds. Then they would camp there for the night. The old woman who lived in the house that borders the cemetery had a habit of taking nighttime strolls though that graveyard.

You can learn a lot from reading the old markers. Some give a sense of the era in which the person died. Some will tell a little about the person’s live. Some are plain; some are fancy. All are a tribute to a life that ended and should be treated with respect.

Acts reflect the person and I have to wonder what type of person would do this. Over 50 markers were damaged, so this was not an accident. They (I can’t think just one person could do this amount of damage)  didn’t just lean against or fall into over 50 separate markers. At least two people had to think this was in some way a good idea. They also have to be at least mid- teenage. Younger children would not have the strength for this vandalism.

What type of upbringing did they have to make them this angry and mean? Happy, well-adjusted people don’t knock over headstones.

This makes me very, very sad and very, very angry. I hope the people responsible are caught and have to help clean up the mess they made.

To help fund restoration, a “Save the Graves” fund has been set up at GoFundMe. It won’t entirely restore the history that has been lost, but since what is done cannot be undone, it’s the best option available.

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