Oldest cemetery in Boone Co. vandalized

(Provided Photo/Larry Truitt, Thorntown Town Council, President)

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – The oldest cemetery in Boone County now needs costly repairs.

Officials say the ‘Old Cemetery’ in Thorntown was vandalized last Wednesday. They say a 6-year-old and 10-year-old admitted to knocking down tombstones dating back to the 1800s.

Larry Truitt is the town board president, but he also took the historic cemetery under his wing in 2005, when it was in desperate need of refurbishment.

“We got a cemetery with over 100 soldiers and a lot of people had forgotten who they are,” Truitt said.

Restoring the cemetery some years back, was his idea. He said some of his ancestors were buried in a cemetery in Kentucky.

“Somebody came to the cemetery, and destroyed every stone in the cemetery,” said Truitt.

He didn’t have documentation from that cemetery, so his family’s tombstones were forever lost. He said, he didn’t want that to happen here.

So, with the help of other groups across central Indiana, they documented each stone, repaired them, mowed the grass, and cleaned up the area. Years later, the same thing: damage to tombstones that took so long to repair.

Truitt found the kids sitting in the cemetery last Wednesday, and he said they admitted to knocking down the tombstones, saying they’d been having fun.

They also said sorry.

“Seeing the damage that’s been done, and the disrespect that’s there is really hard. It does make you angry. But I don’t know how you get angry at a six year old: a kindergarten kid. We’ll accept this, and hopefully everybody learns a lesson,” Truitt added.

“If we forget these men who have done so much for this country, and many of them died, and we forget them, we’re forgetting a part of our history. We need to respect, at least the place, where they lay and rest,” said Truitt.

The parents of the step-brothers officials say knocked the stones over didn’t want to comment.

The Thorntown Deputy Chief said he’d written a report, and now it’s up to the juvenile probation department to decide what punishment the children will face.

Truitt says many in town have asked what they can do to help. He says it will cost between $40,000 and $75,000 to fix.

Here’s a link for more information.

For pictures of the damage click here.

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