American flags burned, bell tower graffitied at Anderson cemetery

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ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Forest Lawn Memorial Park had its bell tower vandalized and American flags burned over the weekend, employees said.

In a statement, the facility manager said 21 flags on display for Independence Day were removed and burned around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Just above where the flags were set on fire, graffiti was scrawled on the side of the bell tower reading “seperating church and state.”

“What I don’t understand, in what way does our cemetery relate to Church or State?” said Forest Lawn Memorial Park manager Joe Owens in a statement. “Each year we place these American Flags to celebrate our freedom, in memory of a those who have fought for, are fighting for and the future patriots that will be called upon to fight our Country’s Independence.”

Remar Rucker, who owns Bee Clean pressure washing, removed the graffiti Monday evening. He said he volunteered to do it for free because he just felt compelled to help.

“Just because it’s the right thing you know,” Rucker said.

SC Rep. Jeff Duncan will replace the American flags that were burned, according to a tweet Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office at 864-260-4405 referencing ACSO case number 2021-32714.

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