Historic Ringgold cemetery vandalized
At least two headstones were broken and two more were uprooted and flipped over.
A historic site, believed to be a peaceful resting place for many, was vandalized over the weekend.
It happened at Nathan Anderson Cemetery in Ringgold.
At least two headstones were broken and two more were uprooted and flipped over. The person responsible also took the 10x15 Confederate flag that flew over the cemetery.
Ron Eslinger helps oversee one of the city’s oldest cemeteries on Lafayette Street. He says it's not the first time it's been vandalized, but he was surprised to hear what happened.
“I got a phone call about 10:00 Sunday morning that the flag wasn't flying and so of course, I want to know why,” said Eslinger.
Eslinger immediately went to the cemetery. The flag was gone and the pole was damaged. Eslinger says it's going to cost $2,500 to fix.
But as he walked the grounds, he realized more damage was done to several headstones.
“This is somebody's loved ones and it will break somebody's heart. I know it broke mine,” said Eslinger. “We think it came from the motel right there because there was a trail of flag pieces going up and down towards the motel.”
Eslinger says he reported the vandalism to police. He hopes to find who is responsible by offering a $500 reward.
Eslinger says the next step is trying to uncover the names on the headstones, and reach out to the families. It's not clear if the headstones can be repaired. If not, it could cost at least $700 per headstone.