SPRINGHILL – The family of a Canadian Forces veteran are reeling after they say someone took a hammer to the headstone of his final resting place.
Keith Bourgeois served seven years with the Royal Canadian Air Force alongside his brother Jack, who was enlisted for nine years. When Keith passed away in 2012, the familiar emblem of the air force was included on the marker Keith would share with his son Andrew, who passed away in 2008 in his early forties, and someday Keith’s wife Kathryn.
And she’s none to pleased with the damage to her late husband’s gravesite.
“My husband is buried there. It’s not like somebody isn’t there. It’s just a cowardly act,” Kathryn said.
The Bourgeois grave isn’t far from the road. Anyone driving along North Street to the cemetery can easily see anyone can access it all hours of the day. Apparently someone did, choosing over the weekend to strike at the grave and the future resting place of Jack and his wife Mary Lou. The corners of the markers were been broken off, the chips and edges still on the granite sill. And rich white score marks, tell tale signs of a hard object using to impact the stone, like a hammer or tire iron. Kathryn learned of the damage Sunday, when her brother-in-law went to the site. Now neither know if they will be able to afford the repairs, or if the stones can even be fixed. Neither had insurance for such damage.
“And even then, it will always be altered,” Kathryn said. “It’s cowardly thing they’ve done, no matter how you cut it.”
Kathryn’s brother-in-law Jack says he did a quick review of neighbouring gravesites for damage, but did not see any other than that done to his and his brother’s and late nephew’s marker. If the markers were singled out or if it was a random act of violence, he can’t say but he feels whoever vandalized his brother’s final resting place is more than a menace.
“As far as I’m concerned there should be a lot of focus on this person’s mental state,” Jack said. “We talk a lot about mental health and I feel this is a case if somebody who is mentally unhealthy.”
The Bourgeois contacted Springhill Police who did an initial inspection of the graves, but because the graveyard is in the Municipality of Cumberland County, the case has been transferred to Cumberland District RCMP.
Anyone with any information regarding this or any other crime can contact Cumberland District RCMP at (902) 667-3859, or contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers guarantees your anonymity and offers cash rewards up to $2,000 if your information leads to an arrest.