Good intentions, bad idea: Derry Police seek person who ‘touched up’ grave markers with gold paint

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Gold spray-paint on this marker also defaced the headstone. Photo/DPD

DERRY, NH — Someone touched-up grave markers in a Derry cemetery with gold spray paint, and police would like to know who, and why.

On July 30, 2020, the Derry Police Department received a report of vandalism to grave markers at Forest Hills Cemetery. Cemetery staff told officers that sometime after they left for the day on July 29 someone spray-painted dozens of memorial markers with gold paint. Many of the gravestones adjacent to the markers were defaced with over-spray as these markers were being painted.

The markers that were sprayed were from VFW, American Legion, Derry Police Association, Derry Fire Department and many others. Many of the markers are bronze and naturally aging patina color. Some were black by design and are now sprayed gold.

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Several markers spray-painted were alongside headstones for VFW, American Legion, Derry Police Association and Derry Fire Department. Photo/DPD

It appears that these markers were not maliciously damaged but perhaps the painter sought to refurbish their appearance. However well-intentioned the actions were, the markers should not have been disturbed. Many families commented on social media regarding the defacing of their loved-ones’ stones and markers and their concern on how to remove the paint.

Derry Police contacted representatives from the VFW, American Legion and other organizations to determine if they were aware of the defaced markers and all indicated they were not. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Derry police at 603-432-6111.


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Derry NH Police Department