Graves at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery damaged by heavy equipmen - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

Graves at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery damaged by heavy equipment

Posted: Updated:

A bulldozer mistakenly damaged dozens of graves at a Maryland veterans cemetery. Now the state's Secretary of Veterans Affairs is apologizing.

Pictures of the damage to Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery went viral over social media. The damage was accidental, but angered many families who had loved ones buried there.

"It's just disgraceful," said Carol Milliken.

Her husband, a major in the U.S. Air Force, was buried there last year. She comes to visit almost every day. Looking at the rows of unearthed headstones and muddy tire tracks inches from her husband's grave almost brought her to tears. Like all those here, he served the nation honorably, only to be dishonored like this.

"It's very sad. I was very upset," she said showing the tire tracks left by the bulldozer backhoe. "They've gone up the side here, you can see the tracks. His stone is right here."

During the last burial Monday, a tractor sunk into the saturated ground, leaving deep trenches across part of the cemetery, buckling the ground and dislodging headstones.

“It's supposed to be a place of honor and dignity where family members can come," said Carl Brown.

His father, who is a military veteran, and his mother are buried at Cheltenham.

Pictures of the damage spread across Facebook. Worried family members came to the cemetery Tuesday, unsure if the gravesites of their loved ones were among the damaged.

“There was a lot of angst for family members, myself included,” said Brown.

It upset Maryland's Secretary of Veterans Affairs too, calling it unacceptable.

"We will personally contact them to let them know even if they don't know, we want to let them know and express our apology," said Secretary Edward Chow, referring to the families of those with gravesites damaged.

Workers came to the cemetery on what should have been a day off to clean up and repair the grounds. No headstones were damaged, just disturbed. Some families were understanding.

"It wasn't on purpose or intentional,” said Keith Lincoln. “It wasn't like somebody broke through the building and did all this on purpose. It was just an accident."

He says his father's headstone has been damaged before and the cemetery quickly replaced it.

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs is reviewing the incident and the secretary promised it is an accident that won't be repeated.

"The gravesite is the last honor we can give our veterans and we're not going to let this happen again," said Chow.

The department is also reviewing its operating procedures and said it would take corrective actions.

"I understand they have problems burying people and things, but they need to be more careful," said Milliken.

It's the respect veterans deserve.

For more information about the disruption or burials at a Maryland veterans cemeteries, concerned family members may call:

Dana Hendrickson, MA
Director, Outreach and Advocacy
Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs
410-260-3842
dana.hendrickson@maryland.gov
Visit our website: veterans.maryland.gov

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Cow herd kills German woman hiker in Austria

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:24:40 GMT
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
    VIENNA (AP) -- Police say a herd of cows attacked and killed a German woman hiking through their fenced-in pasture after apparently being riled by the sight of her leashed dog. They said Tuesday the 45-year old victim was rushed by about 20 cows and their calves. Attempts by an emergency crew to revive her were unsuccessful. The attack occurred Monday on a mountain pasture in Austria's Tyrol province. The woman's name was not released, in accordance with Austrian confidentiality rules. © 201...
  • New app helps teens calm anxiety

    New app helps teens calm anxiety

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:46 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:46:49 GMT
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
    Anxiety disorders affect one in eight teens. There are medications and therapies that can help alleviate symptoms, and now there’s even an app that can help. The MindShift app aims to teach young adults how to combat everyday anxiety, panic, conflict and worry. Teens can input their symptoms and the app will create a plan to help reduce stress. Created by two non-profit organizations, Anxiety BC and BC Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Mindshift app gives users the ability to ...
  • Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Toddler crashes Jeep, runs home to watch cartoons

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:07 AM EDT2014-07-28 13:07:54 GMT
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...
    MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Police say a toddler crashed a Jeep into an Oregon home, then ran back to his home to watch cartoons. Authorities say the 3-year-old boy who was wearing only a diaper climbed into the Jeep Tuesday evening and knocked it out of gear. Witnesses say it rolled down the street, through an intersection and into the house, causing minor damage. KPTV reports (http://bit.ly/1rhWlK6 ) an officer found the boy on a couch watching TV as if nothing had happened. He said his par...

Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices