Headstones replaced at National Cemetery in Dayton after crash in December

Headstones replaced at National Cemetery in Dayton after crash in December (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)- It's been nearly two months since someone crashed through a fence at the National Cemetery in Dayton and damaged or destroyed 38 headstones.

The fence still needs to be repaired but all the headstones have been replaced.

Doug Ledbetter, the cemetery director, couldn't believe it when he saw the destroyed headstones after the crash in December.

"Both myself and most of my staff are veterans, so we have a personal interest in everything. Some of us have family or friends that are buried out here, so it was a pretty rough thing for us to see," Ledbetter said.

They then had to let the families know what had happened to the markers.

Ledbetter says they were able to reach about half the families.

"Everyone that we were able to get in contact with were completely understanding and appreciative," Ledbetter said.

You can't tell which headstones have been replaced unless you get very close to them. A little bit of weathering and those differences will disappear.

Ledbetter says he's thankful for the support they received from the community.

"We had several folks from the community, they came in and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to help," Ledbetter said.

All that's left is to replace the fence. Ledbetter says they're taking bids for it.

"We are looking at ways to kind of beef up that area so, in the event someone does want to come through that fence again, that they won't be able to make it into the gravesites themselves," Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter says the company that inscribes the markers expedited the replacement headstones.

There were temporary markers in place until the permanent ones arrived.

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