DERRY — Police are investigating vandalism that occurred recently in the community's historic Forest Hill Cemetery.

On July 30, police received a report of vandalism to several grave markers at the cemetery, according to a Derry police statement.

Cemetery staff told officers that some time after they left for the day on July 29, someone spray painted gold paint on dozens of memorial markers at gravestones. Many of the stones adjacent to the markers were also defaced with paint as the markers were being painted.

The markers that were painted were from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Derry Police Association, Derry Fire Department and many others, the statement read.

Many of the markers are bronze and naturally-aging patina colored. Some were black by design and are now painted gold.

"It appears these markers were not maliciously damaged but perhaps the painter sought to refurbish their appearance," the statement read. "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 incidence can contact the police department at 603-432-6111.

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