CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls is normally a peaceful place to pay one’s respects to loved ones buried there. But, someone has broken that serenity and disturbed the dead. About forty gravestones have been knocked over.
Kate Parker of Manchester, New Hampshire and her sisters were at the cemetery Friday to visit relatives.
“I was suddenly so disturbed to see destruction of the gravesites, we all were. We were shocked,” Parker said.
Cemetery officials believe the toppling of the tombstones took place in the evening of March 28 or 29, right before the Easter weekend.
“It’s really indicative of the loss of respect that is occurring in our society. It’s very distressing,” Parker’s sister, Kristen Jones, said.
The destruction is mainly centered in the middle and oldest section of the cemetery. Some of the markers and monuments date back to late 1800s.
“I know how much these cemeteries and these locations mean to the families — to be able to see their legacy in stone, to be able to see that sculpture,” Jones added.
This is the second time this has happened at Oakwood Cemetery in less than a year. Dozens of other gravestones were overturned last June.
“You know we often ask ourselves if this is reflection of a new generation or just a society-wide lack of respect for this type of area. Yes, who would do something like this? There’s just no point to it,” Parker added.
Summit County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the person responsible for this destruction, and the city of Cuyahoga Falls will double that reward.
Cemetery officials are in the process of assessing the damage done and will soon begin the job of righting the headstones to their proper place.