Less than 24 hours after Memorial Day services, vandals damaged a portion of Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.
Ed Ebinger, cemetery superintendent, said the vandalism occurred in the south end of the cemetery. About 15 headstones were tipped, flower pots were smashed, the flowers planted a day before tossed about and flags were ripped up.
The incident was reported to the Brainerd Police Department about 8 a.m. today.
Ebinger, who has worked at the cemetery since 1957, said minor vandalism happens occasionally, but it had never occurred right after Memorial Day.
Cal White of the Brainerd American Legion Post 255 Color Guard stood at attention while the rifle salute was fired at the All Veterans Memorial near the Crow Wing County Courthouse Monday morning. (Dispatch Photo by Steve Kohls)
Evergreen Cemetery Association board member Yibby Knudsen said the cleanup had begun early today, and that he would offer a reward for information leading to the identification of the vandals.
Knudsen said he was utterly disgusted by the cemetery vandalism. "We've tried to downplay (vandalism) in the past, but this is so degrading."
Ebinger and his crew salvaged as many of the flowers as possible, putting them into new pots. He also said a tractor will be brought in to right the larger monuments that were tipped over.
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