ByJake Wallace|July 9, 2020 at 10:35 PM EDT - Updated July 9 at 11:31 PM
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Confederate monument in a Savannah cemetery has been damaged with spray paint and parts broken.
“Silence- No More” was spray painted on the Silence memorial at Laurel Grove Cemetery - dedicated in 1878 to commemorate Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg.
“It infuriates me.”
Those are the words of a gentleman who wished to remain anonymous as he helped assess the damage Thursday afternoon. He says he’s the great nephew of a man buried at Laurel Grove, and says it’s disrespectful for a marker meant as a gravestone to be damaged.
“This is to stand as a reminder of men who had lives, loves, dreams, hopes, experiences, that right, wrong, or indifferent, sacrificed everything for what they believed in.”
The Savannah Police Department says they’re investigating the vandalism. The City of Savannah says they will clean the statue and are assessing whether repair is possible after an arm was removed from the monument.
The City adds there are no plans currently to move the memorial from the cemetery.
John Wright, a commander with the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Savannah, believes it wouldn’t matter if the memorial was moved.
“We’re dealing with people sneaking around in the wee hours of the morning, doing dark little deeds so they won’t get caught. These people are just outright cowards. If they’re not going to respect the rights of those people who have put these up where they are now, they’re not going to respect it anywhere else,” said Wright.
As clean up begins at the cemetery, some of those left assessing the damage say they’re left with more than anger.
“It makes me feel more than anything else, sorrow for our country, feel sorrow for the hurt that our country is feeling over the deaths of George Floyd and over the racism that truly does exist in this country that is not present in this cemetery.”