Vandals trashed a portion of the Mount Hope Cemetery in Brantford, Ont. over the weekend, overturning tombstones and crushing the spirits of families with loved ones buried at the site.
"Deplorable, just deplorable," said city councillor Jan Vanderstelt of the scene. Vanderstelt, who has two sisters buried at the cemetery, rushed to the site after hearing of the damage.
"The grieving process is a lifelong process and this is one more hardship along the way," said Vanderstelt, who personally lifted and replaced about 20 of the tombstones. He said he could not bear the thought of families showing up to see the grave site desecrated.
Police say 104 tombstones were toppled in the southeast corner of the cemetery, possibly on Saturday night.
The 60-acre cemetery, which was purchased by town council in 1872, has sustained about $20,000 in damages.
Although the cemetery owners have a reserve fund to cover some vandalism, CBC's Stephanie Matteis reports that the responsibility for fixing the damage may eventually fall to the families themselves.
No suspects have been identified so far, and police are asking the public for help in the investigation.