ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - People are upset after the Albuquerque grave site of a soldier who earned the highest military honor was vandalized.
There is some suspicion that it may have had something to do with who he fought.
A local veteran with a group trying to keep a 100-year-old marble headstone clean, found it shattered to pieces last week.
Within rows of headstones in Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery near Yale and Avenida Cesar Chavez, you'll find the grave site of Sgt. James Morris.
The soldier received the Medal of Honor before being buried in Albuquerque in the early 1900s.
“For somebody to come in there and destroy it like they did and vandalize it is just beyond our comprehension,” said Bill O’Mara, with local Marine Corps League Detachment 381.
He and other veterans in the group went out to clean the site about four months ago.
A member returning to the grave last week, discovered the destruction.
“I don't know why anybody would want to do that,” O’Mara said. “This is a true hero of the United States and it needs to be recognized as that.”
A manager says none of the other grave sites at the cemetery have been vandalized.
There is some suspicion it may have something to do with Morris' service in the Indian War.
A plaque at the site says he got the highest military honor in 1875 for “services against hostile Indians" near Fort Seldon, which is just north of Las Cruces.
It said he showed bravery and courage in pursuit of Apache Indians.
But it is still unclear if his headstone was targeted.
Either way, the Marine Corps League is raising money to replace it.
“We will try and meet with the organization who will take care of the replacement of it and maybe come up with some type of reasonable solution that would protect it a little better if that's the case,” said David Cruz, a location manager at the cemetery.
“Whatever it was, it was a shame and we're going to try to rectify it,” O’Mara said.
The Marine Corps League is trying to raise about $1,500 to replace the headstone and re-polish the slab on the grave site that has information about the soldier.
Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 81552 Albuquerque, NM 87198 and titled, “Marine Corps League/Sgt. Morris.”
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