Alleged Vandalism at Veterans Cemetery Causes Controversy
10:12 AM, Jan 1, 2014 • By JIM SWIFT
An image of a state-run veterans’ cemetery posted to the aggregation website Reddit this week is causing a controversy. The image, originally posted by the page "U.S Army W.T.F! moments" on Facebook, captures a scene from Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery, run by the Maryland department of veterans affairs.
Except that instead of a somber ground where those who served our country and their spouses take their final rest, a backhoe appears to have driven over headstones of deceased veterans and their loved ones.
The individual who posted the photo isn’t named, but it bears this description:
Local ABC affiliate WJLA reported that the cemetery was a possible victim of vandalism, concluding "At this point, it's still unclear exactly what happened."
A Reddit user claims to have captured a screenshot of a Facebook response by the Maryland department of veterans affairs, responding to the matter:
Calls to the Maryland department of veterans affairs were not returned.
This isn’t the first time the Maryland-run cemetery has been criticized for its practices. A 2007 story by the Washington Post highlighted some veterans and their families who were disappointed with how the cemetery operates.
One World War II Navy vet had to wait six months before a marker was placed over his wife’s grave, and a year later, no grass had grown over her grave. He told the Post, “It’s terrible how they treat people out here.”
An official for the state’s cemetery and memorial program told the Post it "usually takes about 30 days to get the headstone because the federal government pays for that."
The Post reported at the time:
It isn’t clear that these practices are the same at all veterans' cemeteries, with one veteran telling the Post, "some of the ladies can't even get to their husbands without wading through mud and dust…. It is not like this at Arlington."
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