THE destruction of two graves belonging to World War II soldiers has left Albury RSL leaders devastated and embarrassed.
Headstones on the plots in Albury’s war cemetery were found smashed yesterday morning, with repair costs estimated at $4000.
RSL president Graham Docksey, who was in the army for 46 years, said the headstones were a symbol of the sacrifice every ex-serviceman and woman made.
“I’m emotional just thinking about it,” he said.
“It’s devastating and so disappointing and would raise strong feelings from the veteran community.”
RSL vice-president Mark Dando was lost for words as he faced the damage yesterday.
“I can’t understand why somebody would be so disrespectful and why a young Australian would damage someone’s grave who had laid their life down so we could live in a free country,” he said.
“It’s rare I am embarrassed to be Australian but right now I am so embarrassed by the person who has done this.”
Cr Docksey said he wanted the vandal to “man up” and apologise.
“I want them to come forward and say they’ve made a mistake and rectify it by working closely with us and learning about military history,” he said.
“Somebody might have been on their way home with a few beers under their belt but I honestly don’t know why somebody would have done this.”
Albury Police Inspector Tony Moodie said he did not know the reason behind the attack.
“Damage to any headstone is just a senseless act and I can’t understand what their motivation would be,” he said.
“We are keen for anyone who has knowledge of this incident to come forward.”
Cr Docksey said the graves were a part of Albury’s history.
“I know the value and passion of each individual grave,” he said.
“The family connection is powerful and I hope the police can follow it up.”
The headstones have been taken to Melbourne for repair.
Anybody with information is encouraged to contact Albury police on (02) 6023 9299.