Prince George’s County Police want to know who toppled more than two dozen headstones near a historic church in Upper Marlboro, Md. The gravestones were found downed on June 24 at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church on St. Thomas Church Road, according to the Washington Post.
Headstones were knocked over at the St. Thomas’
Episcopal Church cemetery in Upper Marlboro, Md. on
June 24. (Courtesy Photos)
Steve Kensinger, the church’s senior warden, told the Washington Post he was disheartened to see the vandalism. “We do pray for the individuals that did this, that they might see the errors of their way and turn themselves in and hopefully learn a very serious life lesson,” he said.
Police told the Washington Post that some of the vandalized gravestones were initially erected in the 1800s. Meanwhile, the graves at the church go back to the mid-1740s. Among the buried are soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Police Chief Hank Stawinski told the Washington Post. WTOP reported that some Civil War soldiers are buried there as well.
According to the church’s website, St. Thomas’ includes four congregations in Prince George’s County, including St. Thomas’ Church in Croom, Md., Church of the Atonement in Cheltenham, Md., St. Simons Mission in Croom, Md. and The Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, Md.
“This is a matter that the Prince George’s County Police Department is taking very seriously,” Stawinski told the Washington Post.
The church, meanwhile, is a county historic site and appears on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also the second-oldest continuously operating church and cemetery in the county, police reported to the Washington Post.