Up to 200 gravestones vandalized with swastikas in Illinois cemetery


(JTA) — Swastikas were spray-painted on between 150 and 200 gravestones at a cemetery in southwestern Illinois.

The vandalism at the Sunset Hill Cemetery in Glen Carbon, Illinois was discovered on Saturday morning.

Swastikas also were spray painted on the homes and garage doors of a nearby home subdivision, according to reports.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in connection with the cemetery vandalism.

The cemetery is nondenominational and there was no common denominator for the gravestones that were vandalized with swastikas.

More than 1,300 veterans are buried in the cemetery and officials rushed to have the gravestones power washed ahead of Memorial Day on Monday, when a public memorial ceremony is scheduled, CBS News reported.

Glen Carbon is located 15 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. More than 100 gravestones were toppled in the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery in St. Louis in February 2017. A suspect was arrested in that case last month. He was charged with one count of institutional vandalism. He is not charged with a bias or hate crime. The attack came as Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions around the country were receiving dozens of bomb threats. Two Muslim activists, Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 for repairs, which ultimately raised over $162,000.

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