Cemetery rules disregard role of cherished place

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“Remember to pay respect to your loved ones that are gone,” is what I heard so many people say to each other during the last three weeks of May.

This is a tradition numerous family members do each year at this time.

From several states, including Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Florida, I have family members return to Lawrence County to pay respect to loved ones who passed on years ago.

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This year, as has occurred every year for the last 12, I accompanied family members including nephews, nieces, daughters, daughters-in-laws, sons, sons-in-laws, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visit various cemeteries throughout this wonderful county.

The love, respect and cherished memories are well represented at these final resting places through the colorful, tasteful and aesthetically pleasing decorations.

Unfortunately, many of my family members were very upset when Woodland Cemetery removed the decorations that were placed directly onto the ground.

I understand this is a rule of the cemetery but it is one that has not been enforced during the Memorial Day holiday in years past.

My question is, why would you, as a cemetery board, arbitrarily enforce this rule one year and not the next, causing families from great distances to be upset?

During this holiday period, many of my family members had items thrown away they had left at gravesites in Woodland Cemetery. They were very upset when they left town.

Furthermore, why would you lock a gate at 2 p.m. on the Saturday preceding Memorial Day?

This procedure inconveniences people in time and money.

I understand this is another rule, but the number of people you upset should help you to understand that rules are made to be followed but could be lenient to accommodate people, especially family members who visit to show respect of loved ones during this most solemn federal holiday.

I am sure this sentiment is shared by numerous Lawrence Countians.

Howard Bruce