WYCKOFF - Vandals have damaged dozens of historic grave markers at the Wyckoff Reformed Church Cemetery in Bergen County.
Cemetery caretaker Joan Mabie says the damage was discovered on Monday.
"We were going to check out some trees and we came to this,” she says. “It was a shocking devastation. We didn't know what to say to each other."
The cemetery dates back to the turn of the 18th century. It’s the final resting place of two Revolutionary War soldiers and two dozen Civil War soldiers. Those graves were not damaged, but 50 others were destroyed. Many of the graves are about 100 years old.
Nancy Mattera, who works for the church’s Cemetery Association, says she has three reports of people "hearing and seeing" large groups of young rowdy teens “in or near” the cemetery Sunday night.
“I don't think they realize the ramifications of what they've done. It will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” Mattera says. “I believe that somebody as an adult, they'll think back on what they've done. I don't think they'll be able to forget it.”
Cemetery officials say the stones are incredibly difficult to repair because of their age. The Cemetery Association estimates it could cost between $70,000 to $80,000 to repair all 50 gravestones.