CALVERT — An investigation is continuing after the theft of 30 American Legion grave markers from burial plots of United States servicemen at a Calvert cemetery, according to the Maryland State Police.
The theft at Rosebank Cemetery, which borders Northeast Road (Route 272) and Telegraph Road (Route 273), occurred between Saturday and Tuesday morning, when a caretaker discovered that the military markers were missing and noticed other evidence of tampering, police reported.
“(He) the caretaker saw a bunch of flags on the ground,” said Cliff England, manager of that cemetery, which was founded in 1847.
England explained that those miniature United States flags on short, wooden sticks were attached to the grave markers and that those banners were pulled up from the ground along with the American Legion grave markers.
“That’s as low as you can get, stealing from the grave of a veteran,” Bill Meehan said as he and his friend, Bob Wilson, toured the cemetery with England on Tuesday afternoon.
Meehan and Wilson stopped at Rosebank after participating in a ceremony in Elkton honoring Cecil Countians who died in Vietnam. Meehan knew some of the men who were honored personally, and he wanted to show Wilson their graves.
Several rows of headstones stood out because the flags lay strewn on the ground, their stands stolen with the medallions.
Although those American Legion grave markers may appear to hold some monetary value – a possible motive for the thefts – they do not, according to England.
“They look like they’re bronze, but they actually are just bronze-plated. They have no value. For scrap metal, you might get a couple of cents for them,” England said.
Those military markers do hold sentimental value, however, because they are placed at the graves of Americans who served in this nation’s military, England emphasized.
MSP detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying the culprit or culprits in the theft of the American Legion grave markers and, or, finding the stolen markers.
“The markers hold a miniature American flag and mark the graves of American service members. If anyone has information about the person(s) responsible or the location of the markers, please contact the Maryland State Police at the North East Barrack at 410-996-7800. Refer to case number 19-MSP-047045,” MSP officials instruct in a written statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
England said the Rosebank Cemetery Association is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits.