Last night vandalism was reported at the Netherlands Cemetery in Melrose. This cemetery, located on Linwood Ave., has a long history with the community.
Netherlands Cemetery, formally called the Netherlands Cemetery Association and Roxbury Mutual Society Burial Ground – is the third-oldest Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts and contains about 475 interments. It was established in 1859 by a group of Dutch Jews living in Greater Boston who formed the Netherlands Cemetery Association and opened the Netherlands Cemetery for its members. It is currently operated by the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts.
I am deeply saddened and outraged by this vandalism and potential hate crime. Cemeteries are sacred grounds. Any malicious destruction is deeply saddening and must be given the full attention of law enforcement to bring the individuals responsible to account for this horrible act.
On behalf of the citizens of Melrose, we offer our deepest sympathies to Netherlands Cemetery Association, the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts, and the individual families affected by this cowardly act.
The Melrose Police Department is in the process of conducting a full investigation of this vandalism and potential hate crime. We will provide further information as it becomes available. Anyone with information is urged to call the Melrose Police Department at (781) 665-1212 or the anonymous tip line at (781) 665- TIPS.