Vice President Mike Pence visited a Jewish cemetery in the St. Louis area which made national headlines after vandals damaged more than 150 headstones.
Pence condemned anti-Semitism during his visit to Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri, where he was joined by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"There is no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism," Pence told volunteers, according to the Post-Dispatch. "I must tell you, people of Missouri are inspiring the nation by your love and care for this place. You make us all proud."
Pence's visit came after President Donald Trump made his first public condemnation of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States on Tuesday after a round of bomb threats to Jewish community centers around the country, noted Reuters.
"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump told reporters.
Before Tuesday's statement, Trump had been criticized by some for not directly responding to anti-Semitic acts around the country, noted Reuters.
Greitens told volunteers at the cemetery that he received a call from Trump praising them for their work, said the Post-Dispatch.
"(Trump) asked me, on his behalf, to personally thank all of you. Thank you for standing up in the fight against anti-Semitism," Greitens said. "And he said thank you for showing the people of the world that what happened here the other night is not who America is. It's not who Missouri is. …"
Hundreds of volunteers helped clean up the cemetery after the vandalism, reported the Post-Dispatch. Cemetery president Alan Simon said he hoped money raised by various religious and lay groups would help replace the damaged headstones.
The attack on the cemetery coincided with the a third wave of bomb threats to Jewish community centers, were 11 facilities received the phoned-in threats Monday, according to the JCC Association of North America.
"Our JCCs are strongly rooted in communities across the country, and we will not be cowed by threats intended to disrupt people’s lives or the vital role Jewish community centers play as gathering places, schools, camps, and fitness and recreation centers," said David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America.
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