The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 15, 2012

Man believes Obama win spurred cemetery vandalism


ATHENS, Ala. — A colonel in the U.S. Army said he believes President Obama’s re-election may have spurred vandals to topple and smash more than 70 gravesites at a predominantly black cemetery.

“We are not going to let this deter us,” said Col. James Walker, who stopped by the cemetery in Limestone County recently to plant flags at two burial plots honoring his cousins who fought in World War II. More than 200 people are buried in marked and unmarked graves in the private cemetery that is affiliated with Little Ezekiel Church.

Among them is the headstone of one of the Montford Point Marines, who was one of more than 19,000 black men who trained at segregated Montford Point, N.C., between 1942-49. Those marines collectively received the Congressional Gold Medal in June, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the U.S. Congress. Officials said the damage occurred between Nov. 5 and 7. Election Day was Nov. 6. 

Details for this story were provided by The News Courier, Athens, Ala.