The woman was not charged but people were shocked by her actions.
We often expect people to show respect to the dead and act with utmost decency while visiting cemeteries. However, one impatient woman did exactly the opposite and shocked the people that witnessed the incident.
According to NBC, one insensitive woman drove her minivan over grave markers at Houston National Cemetry that served as a resting place for several veterans and their spouses. Many of those present there that day had come to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War ll in Europe. The cemetery was packed with people waiting to watch the Lone Star Flight Museum flyover. Instead of waiting patiently like other people, this woman decided to cut the line of other waiting cars and drive right over the graves.
Amanda Hill, who was present there, was shocked to see the woman driving over the graves just because she wanted to leave as soon as the flyover ended. Speaking to ABC, she stated, "She tried to back up, and then went up on the curb of the section where my grandparents are buried."
She further added, "[The woman] couldn't get around some cars, and then she started running over the graves. She went over dozens of graves by the time she finished."
After the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, there was a flyover above Houston National Cemetery. When it ended, one woman didn't want to sit in traffic. So she drove over dozens of graves to get around the cars while a bunch of families were there visiting.— Kimmie Tee (@RadioKimmie) May 12, 2020
Additionally, Hill stated that the woman had previously tried to cut the line three times but was unsuccessful. "She decided to jump up on the curb the first time and drive across graves to drive around the truck," said Hill, according to ABC.
Hill had come along with her family to stand by her grandparents' grave during the flyover. Hill's grandfather Robert Eugene Marsh was a First Lieutenant in the Air Force and was posted in a division known as the Bloody Hundred, which carried out the bombing over Germany. His wife, Ruth was also buried next to him. Apart from Hill and her family, several others who gathered to pay respects to the fallen soldiers saw the woman's irresponsible act.
Hill, along with her mother, stood in front of the car to save the grave. She added that the driver did not seem to care even after seeing them stand in front of her vehicle. “She knew we were taking pictures of her car, and then other people started to gather around, too, not letting her drive anymore, and then that was when my mom came and stood in front of her. And then she just continued to drive, and my mom had to move out of the way quickly so my mom didn’t get ran over,” said Hill to NBC.
"She heard us yelling at her to stop, and just kept doing it. My mother approached the van, and the driver told her she had to get out," Hill to ABC.
A 19-year-old Jeremiah Johnston, who was also there, recorded the episode. Like the rest, he was astonished to see the woman's appalling behavior. "I was shocked, and never would have expected that to happen. This is Houston, and there are crazy drivers, and I never would have expected to see them going through a cemetery. Especially when everyone was there to pay their respects during a patriotic flyover," said Johnston, according to NBC.
The driver eventually found her way out but the image of her driving over the graves was painful for the families of the veterans. “I was talking with my parents earlier and said, ‘I don’t want this be a huge deal. I don’t want this to reflect negatively on us.’ And my mom told me, she said, ‘No, your grandfather would be proud of you for doing this, making sure that this woman gets justice,’ because it’s just, they would be appalled,” said Hill to NBC.
She added, "I felt bad for the families whose loved ones' graves were run over. It's so disrespectful and especially on a day when we're honoring veterans of World War ll."
Following the incident, The Department of Veterans Affairs released a statement claiming that no headstones or markers were damaged. "Houston National Cemetery was appalled by the level of disgrace shown by a driver on the grounds of the cemetery on May 10," said Jessica Jacobsen, a spokesperson for the department, according to New York Post.
"Fortunately, no gravestones or markers were damaged, and VA is working with local authorities to identify the driver so proper legal action can be taken. VA’s national cemeteries are shrines and we expect all visitors to treat them accordingly," added Jacobsen. However, the identified woman was not charged.