Volunteer group to clear vandalized Pacific cemetery this weekend

PACIFIC, Mo. – The mess caused by a pair of teen vandals at the Pacific City Cemetery will finally be cleaned up this weekend.

“We've stepped up and volunteered our time and will be bringing in additional help as well to help with the restoration on Saturday,” said Marc Houseman, president of the Franklin County Cemetery Society.

The dedicated volunteer group won’t charge the City of Pacific a dime for its time.

“Almost 150 tombstones were toppled in total,” Houseman said. “A few have been put back up by families who have hired monument companies privately.”

Many of the older misplaced tombstones don’t have family anymore to help take care of them. Houseman and his team are firm believers that cemeteries are the last remnants of people who were just like us.

“They led lives that were important and still are important to some of us who care about the past,” Houseman said.

Houseman was asked if the suspects, two young boys, would be part of the cleanup effort. He said the city attorney offered it as part of a learning lesson but the group passed.

“We said, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ Frankly, we think they would sit in the shade and laugh at us,” he said.

They have called in a couple local monument companies to help out.

“We're not confident we can get it done in one Saturday, but it will give us a nice boost,” Houseman said.