American flags burned, veterans graves desecrated at historic Volusia County cemetery

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — Volusia County officials are looking to find who may be responsible for the vandalization of a historic cemetery that's the final place for many veterans dating back more than 100 years.

Caretaker Jerome Turner received a call about the Oak Ridge Cemetery being vandalized last week and raced over to assess the damage.

"I was just shocked to see all the flags broken up and all the flags burned," said Turner.

Turner found fist-sized holes burned through some of the flags with their masts also snapped in half.

This isn't the first time the historic black cemetery has been vandalized.

About 15 years ago, someone damaged the tombstones and dug up the graves. Those vandals were never caught.

"Leave the veterans alone at least because we are the ones saving, fighting for the country, so why would you come and vandalize the veterans?" said Turner.

Turner told Channel 9 that the homeless used to camp on the property and that teens would sometimes get on the grounds to drink and smoke.

Extra police will now be on patrol because of the incident and the cemetery may begin to start locking its gate at night to keep people out.

The cemetery hopes to have the damaged flags replaced soon and is also looking for donations to install cameras to prevent any potential vandalization.

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