Cemeteries can be courteous

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Few things are more hurtful for families than to see the flower arrangements and other mementoes that have been so carefully placed on graves of loved ones just get casually discarded over a hillside or in a dumpster.

But that is allegedly what many loved ones have seen at Highland Memorial Gardens in South Point. Owner Larry Carter has been indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury for tossing flowers, vases and other items over a hillside on his property, the second such offense investigated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency in the past five years.

According to correspondence with the EPA and the businessman, Carter is working to address this problem and use a dumpster that will eliminate the environmental concerns.

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But Carter isn’t alone in this type of practice. Some cemeteries across the county have allegedly committed similar offenses once the flowers or decorations have lost their glow and are deemed to be no longer necessary.

It is understandable that cemeteries have to remove items from graves in order to prevent accumulation of decaying decorations that will eventually become eyesores.

But it also doesn’t seem to be too much to ask cemetery directors to show a little respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

It also seems to be a common courtesy to leave vases and other substantial items in a location for visitors to claim them if so desired.

Many of our resting places do a great job but others have room to improve.

Cemeteries are sacred and special places for families so those operating them must go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to keeping it that way.