Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 20, 2014

Cemetery upkeep lacking

Aug 01, 2014

To the editor:

Forest Home Cemetery is the final resting place for many who have finished their earthly pilgrimage and made their passage to everlasting life. A cemetery is blessed ground which evokes memories.

Are we not obligated to bestow upon it care, reverence and respect, as it holds the remains of loved ones we made this earthly journey with; an enduring remembrance of our loved ones?

Most people believe in this as you can see by the flowers that are placed at stones as remembrances, and which are at Forest Home at this exact moment!

A lot of people care if we measure care by that standard.

My father passed away in October 2007. I visit the cemetery, to indeed, find peace. I visited January 2008, stepped up to my father’s grave which had what appeared to be ice over it. Believing the ice to have earth beneath it, as it should have had, I stepped on it.

The grave had settled and I fell into his grave up to my right knee, after which I fell on the ground, on my back. No additional dirt was added after his burial.

In other words, we buried him and no after care was provided. That thought made me very sad. No one should ever experience falling into their father’s grave, of that I can assure you!

What is the definition of perpetual care? July 21, 2014, Forest Home Cemetery had grass going to seed, had several large limbs down — some in the roadways.

After attending a family funeral in long grass, that I believe was unkept, several felt disappointed at the lack of perpetual care provided our loved ones final resting place.

I cleaned our family stones a few days before the funeral — they were covered with dried grass to the top of the stones.

I have tried since 2007 to bring this to the attention of our city administration. Nothing changes. The cemetery was not sprayed for weeds, or broadleaf this year. Should not Forest Home Cemetery receive grave filling, spraying, mowing, tree trimming, bush trimming, removal of large limbs as all city parks?

Would weekly visits to Forest Home by our public works department be appropriate to check on these aforementioned general maintenance issues, if indeed, the hired mowers are not contracted to do so?

It is beneath us to allow our cemetery to deteriorate, to remain unkept and appear to have “hurried up care taking”? Is it not our responsibility to do better?

I will leave you with this...a quote from Sir William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of England and an educated scholar. He penned the following which I know you will see framed and displayed in at least two funeral homes in Mt. Pleasant:

“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect, for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”

 

Deeply concerned,

Mary Hassenfritz,

Mt. Pleasant

 

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