Mt. Carmel Cemetery Receives Help With Repairs

Last weekend final resting places at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Cordova were vandalized. More than 70 monuments were destroyed, including tombstones, benches, and vases. Even though most headstones were simply knocked over and not broken, it would still take time and money to restore them all.

After hearing about the damage, Patterson Monument Company of Jasper showed up to help. Co-owners Ryan Manasco and Dylan Lane drove to Mt. Carmel Cemetery Friday morning with some of their workers to help with the repairs and clean up… all for free.

“People don’t just have the money laying around to fix something they already paid for,” Manasco said. “You know, they expect it to stay fixed.”

The workers spent the day resetting some of the larger monuments that were tipped over by the vandals, and repaired those that were broken. Manasco said he thought it would be a good opportunity to help in the community, and people who passed by noticed the act of kindness. Cordova resident Timothy Hyche visited the cemetery for the first time since the crime took place there. He says the help is a real blessing.

“It’s good to see there’s still good people out here in Walker County,” Hyche said. “These people live here, and like I said, they seen we had a need and they volunteered their time to come out and do this for us from Patterson Monuments, and I just want to express my gratitude.”

Cordova Police arrested 23-year-old Joshua Hicks and 24-year-old James Ray Harris in connection to the vandalism. They were both charged with criminal mischief and desecration of grave sites.

“We are praying for the individuals who are responsible for all this,” Manasco said. “Hopefully, maybe they can find some light somewhere and run with it.”

Hyche also hopes they can turn their life around. He said he hopes they see the compassion going on in the community after what happened, and that will change their mind about things.

Twila Richardson, a Mt. Carmel Cemetery board member, said the Cordova Boy Scouts plan on cleaning up the rest of the debris.

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