UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Hundreds of volunteers joined Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and surprise guest Vice President Mike Pence at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery this afternoon to help clean up the recently vandalized Jewish cemetery.
KMOX’s Brett Blume reports volunteers arrived Wednesday with rakes, trash cans, brooms and buckets – and endured a security check – joining together to help beautify the cemetery that suffered severe damage earlier this week after vandals knocked over nearly 200 gravestones.
Greitens had announced the clean-up effort on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, the day after the headstones were found damaged.
Authorities in Missouri are investigating the incident at the Jewish cemetery in University City, about eight miles northwest of downtown St. Louis.
An unannounced visitor stopped by the clean-up effort – Vice President Pence was in the St. Louis area for a scheduled visit with workers at a construction equipment company in Fenton.
After arriving at the cemetery, Pence and Greitens got into the flatbed of a pickup truck and gave remarks using a bullhorn.
Greitens spoke first, saying President Donald Trump called him today and thanked him for standing up and fighting anti-Semitism in Missouri.
Pence followed, saying there is no place in America for anti-Semitism and hatred.
They waded their way through the crowd, and one man offered the Vice President a red yarmulke off his own head saying, “This is the way the president can bring us together.” Pence hugged him.
If you are interested in donating funds to help repair the cemetery’s damage, here’s the link to a LaunchGood fund sponsored by Muslim-Americans.
The goal was to raise $20,000. So far, it has raised more than $90,000 — $80,000 was raised in the first 24 hours.