Company repairs 70 vandalized tombstones for free
STRATFORD -- A local company has stepped up to repair around 70 tombstones that were damaged at a Stratford cemetery early this month.
Some of the damaged stones dated all the way back to the 1800s.
Earlier in July, Stratford police said the tombstones at Avondale Cemetery were damaged, reporting a naked man seen running through the cemetery and knocking them over. The city was prepared to pay thousands of dollars for the repairs.
"You don't plan for an event like this to happen, so you don't budget for something like this," said Quin Malott, Parks, Forestry and Cemetery Manager for the City of Stratford.
Stratford Memorials has offered to do the work for free.
"The community was in disarray," said Ben Shackleton with Stratford Memorials. "It wasn't nice to see when you drive into the cemetery. There's a lot of people that come through here during the day to walk their dogs and visit their family. So, it was just upsetting."
Shackleton said it took about two and a half days to complete the repairs.
"It was just a really nice surprise when they offered to fix the monuments for nothing," Malott said.
Lois Rose came to check on the tombstones for her grandparents, along with her aunt and uncle, when she heard about the vandalism.
"I just felt the responsibility to say, OK, we need to perfect, we need to maintain," Rose said.
She doesn't know if any of her family's tombstones were damaged, but she's happy they're standing tall.
"It looks good and it's sitting straight," Rose said.
She said she's happy to be able to pay her respects without worrying about any damage.
The city said it's not currently planning to add any security measures to the cemetery. Officials said having it open as a public green space means there are enough eyes on the site.