RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gravestones at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery were toppled over this weekend, drawing anger and attention from Richmond residents.
The gravestones affected are in the cemetery’s Presidents Circle section, which is the final resting place of U.S. presidents James Monroe and John Tyler.
Around 16 gravestones were damaged, and when news of the vandalism spread on social media, residents who have family members buried in the cemetery rushed to check on the situation.
“We had received a message that there was some damage and we had loved ones here that we wanted to check on. We hopped in the car and came down and were confronted with this mess and it’s devastating,” historic preservationist Len Tuck told 8News on Sunday.
Tuck originally posted photos of the damage to his Facebook page Saturday evening and the post garnered massive reaction from those on social media.
“These are just not historical figures, in fact, these are largely non-historical figures. And I can’t imagine the frustration and grief that you suffer when you come to pay your respects and you see this,” he said.
8News was at the cemetery on Sunday and photographed some of the damage.
The Hollywood Cemetery Board of Directors issued the following statement on Sunday afternoon:
“The cemetery Board of Directors and management are aware of the vandalism on the property. A police report has been filed and the matter is under investigation at this time. If anyone has any information about this crime, please contact the cemetery at (804) 648-8501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”