Shattered headstones of veterans found in creek cause concern - KCTV5 News

Shattered headstones of veterans found in creek cause concern

Posted: Updated:
LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -

Shattered headstones of veterans found in a creek near Leavenworth National Cemetery have caused concern for anyone who sees them.

Heavy machinery now blocks the creek that drains water from Leavenworth National Cemetery. Crews will excavate and then destroy 12 tombstones a hiker found discarded in the stream.

The cemetery director, William Owensby, said the stones should never have been there in the first place.

"The most important thing is that we don't have an incident that breaks the trust of our public," he said.

Owensby said the limestone slabs are all castaways, old grave markers that might have a misspelled name or out-of-date information. According to cemetery protocol, they are supposed to remain on the grounds for eternity.

"When it gets replaced we have to do something with it, and the only thing we're comfortable with is making sure it never gets out of our possession," he said.

Owensby believes the tombstones were ditched in the stream in the 1990s and resurfaced when rainwater washed them back up.

"When there's huge storms, the water runs through here so rapidly that it tears out if you don't have brick or stone or something laid on the side. It starts the erosion process," he said.

The stones will be properly disposed of in the next few days. They'll be broken up into smaller pieces, crushed and buried.

"These are hallowed grounds. This is where we bury our nation's heroes. The rules are put there for a reason and the reason is so that families can feel 100 percent certain that their loved ones' headstone has not been taken off the grave and now there's nothing marking the grave," Owensby said.

The cemetery's director checked to make sure that no graves in the cemetery were missing markers. He said he takes the incident seriously out of respect for the heroes buried there.

"We're veterans taking care of veterans. Everybody that works in the cemetery tries really hard to make everything perfect," Owensby said.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:50:13 GMT
    It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >
  • 2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:39:49 GMT
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
  • Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-05-24 03:17:43 GMT
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.