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Cemetery rules break hearts

Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014, 09:31 PM CDT
VIDOR-By: Leslie Rangel

Some families in Vidor tonight have returned from a cemetery not with feelings of peace or satisfaction of visiting loved ones, but with anger and even devastation.

Their desire for closure has been ripped open in some cases following a visit to Restlawn Memorial Park.

"I'm just trying to find my late husband's plaque that's been out here for 14 years," a heartbroken woman said as she looked through was seems like a pile of rubble.

But look closer.

"Flags from the veteran's graves they've taken off, even the memento that says US Navy of a veteran's grave they took off and just piled it all here," Roberto Molenda, an upset family member said.

Pile after pile, memory after memory, pain sprawled on a cemetery lawn.

"I have my granddaughter out here and my niece, and they took her angel," Molenda said.

These people see it as a heartless act, others say rules are rules.

"Pictures or artificial flowers or any other items placed directly on the ground marker or headstone should not be permitted," Ronald Higgins, the cemetery manager said.

"Items may be hung from or attached to the shepherd's hook provided they do not hang within 8 inches of the ground," Higgins said.

It's in the cemetery rulebook and this manager says they even notified the public months ago through the newspaper.

"We don't mean to upset nobody, we're just trying to make the cemetery look the best it can," Higgins says.

For these folks, no excuse eases the pain.

"This was on my daughter's grave, Carla Denise Spring," 77-year-old Charles Wilkinson Sr., another upset family member said.

"My babies are here and they just disrespected the that's cold blooded, that's my babies down here. It's everybody's loved ones,look at all these people, it's everybody's loved ones, look at all these people, there's never this many people here look at them all, everybody's upset today," Molenda says.

A day rules broke hearts.

"I did what we was told to do in the newspaper," Wilkinson says.

He says it's like he never buried his daughter.

Cemetery managers say the rules have always been written not to allow trinkets near the graves.

The cemetery takes full responsibility for finally deciding to enforce the rules.

The managers say it's been long enough and they're only trying to make the cemetery cleaner.Cemetery rules break hearts


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