Round Lake Cemetery vandalized by three young boysPublished by on
ROUND LAKE – The cemetery in Round Lake was a very busy place today as word got out about the vandalism that took place yesterday. People stopped by to check on the resting place of their loved ones, making sure nothing was cracked, dumped or destroyed.
Some headstones and graves were not touched. Others were not as lucky.
“They just destroyed everything,” said Holle Spessard, standing by the resting place of her infant son. “But they left us some of their own toys.”
She gestured toward the ground, where a toy sword and tape-wrapped squirt gun were lying in the grass. According to what she had been told, the three vandals responsible for the destruction at the cemetery were young boys age 11 and under.
Declan Spessard’s headstone has chips and scratches where a beautiful statue of God’s hands wrapped around an infant was smashed against the marble headstone. Of the eight or nine luminaries that once surrounded the stone, only two are left. A cross made lovingly by the hands of Declan’s older brother was tossed aside like garbage.
“I heard about the vandalism, and I heard that even a baby’s grave was included, and I just knew it was ours,” Holle said.
Holle and her family live in St. Peter, but her parents live in Round Lake. Her son, who died when he was three months old, is buried in Round Lake. She said she spent a sleepless night after hearing the news, then decided she had to head to Declan’s resting place..
“I just needed to get here and clean it up,” she admitted. “Then I could move forward and forgive.”
Rosemary Schumann of Round Lake is also working on forgiveness. A large vase kept near her husband’s grave was picked up and hurled against the headstone that marks the resting place of her parents. The headstone is scratched and chipped, the soil was dumped aside and the vase shattered in pieces.
“You can’t help but wonder, ‘What did I ever do to them?’” Schumann said.
Holle agreed it is hard not to take the destruction personally.
“It is a raw wound,” she said. “It is hard to separate the loss of Declan and now this.”
Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs of the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office said the incident is still under investigation, and once information is complete it will be sent to the Nobles County Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges.