Bismarck cemetery policy angers friends and familyBismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - Its purpose is to pay respect to lost loved ones, but family and friends visiting a Bismarck cemetery are leaving angry. Reporter Kate Schell tells us why.
By: Kate Schell, WDAY
It's a place many people come to remember.
George Lafave: "A few times a year I like to come up and put a little toy or a flower or something on her grave."
But a recent decision by the St. Mary's Cemetery's management no longer allows those toys or flowers. A move, loved ones like George Lafave, will never forget.
Lafave: "It is always hurtful to me when I come up here and obviously I would much rather not have that headstone there, but since it is I would like to be able to put a toy next to it every so often."
Lafave isn't the only one disappointed with the change. Terry Barnes has been stressing over the situation since he drove past his brother's grave site just days ago.
Terry Barnes: "Everything was missing from my younger brother’s grave. We had the eternal light and stuff like that; the crosses have been there for two years."
Barnes acknowledges he did read about the removal of stuff in the paper, but assumed the cemetery workers meant dead plants. Barnes didn't know they would be removing the keepsakes he had purchased, until he saw this sign. The same sign Cindy Bosworth and her cousins were greeted with during a frustrating and emotional visit.
Cindy Bosworth: "Have a sister that doesn't even have a headstone yet and there is nothing on it. How could we find it? That is the one we are having the problem with is the one that hasn’t got the headstone yet. We are trying to have something on her grave. Even the little plastic marker they put is gone."
Terry Barnes: "It's unbelievable what they put me and the other families that I've talked to through."
When Terry called the cemetery asking for an explanation they told him it was for safety and maintenance reasons.
Barnes: "She didn't want to give me anymore information of who decided it was tacky. Her exact words were ‘it's tacky looking’."
Lafave: "I don’t think it's tacky. I think it’s a nice way, especially for a parent who loses a child, to help them deal with it a little bit."
"I think that actually looks tacky. I think that is an insult and a family and to the deceased."
Families who are making sure no stone goes unturned in an effort keep items like this.
Barnes: "I have a moral responsibility for my brother and everybody else here to make sure that the mementos, the memorials stay at the people's headstones."