HALEYVILLE - The grave of Senior Airman Mark Forester was found desecrated Thursday afternoon, Sept. 15, when American flags were found scattered, poles splintered, iron poles bent and a cloth flag with Mark’s picture torn to shreds.
Ray Forester, Mark’s dad, was notified of the grave desecration at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, after a woman visiting Winston Memorial Cemetery, Highway 195, noticed the destruction and contacted a family member.
The grave desecration comes exactly two weeks before the 12th anniversary of Mark’s death on Sept. 29, 2010, while serving as Senior Airman in Afghanistan.
“There was a human involved. An animal couldn’t have bent those metal poles over like that,” Ray said.
“It hurts but it makes me want to know why,” Ray added. “Why would somebody want to do that? I don’t understand it.
“It makes me having feelings too, that I don’t want to express right now,” he pointed out.
Max Sadler, a nephew of Mark, came to Mark’s grave to see the vandalism that had occurred.
“I am not really sure what it is, what the motive is why somebody would do it,” Sadler said.
“(Mark) and I were pretty close. We would go hunting together and stuff like that. We had a really good relationship for an uncle and nephew. He meant a lot to me for sure,” Sadler pointed out.
The Winston County Sheriff’s Office responded to the cemetery to make a report and begin an investigation into, not only the grave desecration but floral arrangements missing from at least 30 to 40 other graves. They are very actively investigating this crime. Anyone who might have any information about it is urged to contact the sheriff's office at (205) 489-2115.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.