CEMETERY VANDALISM NOT TOLERATED IN OUR TOWN
100 Headstones Toppled At Calvary Cemetery Replaced in 24 Hours
By Edie Johnson
New Windsor has some of the oldest and most beautiful cemeteries in the region, and they are meticulously cared for. So when the Town learned that vandalism had taken place last weekend, they took very quick action. By Tuesday a group of veterans had already started to mobilize to help with repairs on Wednesday morning. But by late Tuesday New Windsor’s Buildings and Grounds staff, Keith Bedetti and New Windsor Detective John Vasta had already finished replacing all of the headstones that were not irreparably damaged. Thousands of dollars worth of damage had been done to about 100 headstones, some of them massive. But the physical damage was not as heart wrenching as the emotional damage to the families whose loved ones’ gravestones were disturbed. The cemetery groundskeeper had the double pain of trying to determine contact information for all of the families affected, as well as dealing with the damage to his own son’s headstone. He stated that several people must have been involved in the vandalism because some of the stones weighed hundreds of pounds and some had been dumped at some distance onto the driveway. Meanwhile a number of families scrambled either making calls or driving to Calvary to see whether their relatives’ headstones were still intact. The Town rushed on behalf of the families impacted to finish the repairs on Tuesday afternoon in brutal heat, at times exceeding 100 degrees. Deputy Chief Mike Farbent said “It was incredible. They really went above and beyond”
The Cemetery will be following strict opening and closing hours from now on and plans to install security cameras and has been canvassing the area to determine whether anyone saw or recorded the damage being done. New Windsor police requests that anyone with knowledge about the incident contact them. New Windsor Police Department at (845) 565-7000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.