I have been following the discussion of the cemetery issue regarding monuments in the news but I have never heard what they intend to do about a problem with flat stones. And yes, they can be a large problem.
I understand that for maintenance purposes on the part of those who care for our Highland Cemetery, it may make their job easier. But as nice as it is to mow right over the sites of these graves, there is debris left behind by the mowing – grass clippings - and then dirt blows in and the rain and snow will plaster them right to the stone.
We have been burying family members – more than 20 – up there for over 60 years. When we go to care for those sites on Memorial Days, we spend a lot of time cleaning and clearing some of the flat stones involved.
There are some really sad looking grave sites in some areas where there is no longer any family to do this for them. Probably the saddest of these is in what they call the Children’s Section because there are many infants and children plus some adults buried there. Some are older graves. When those flat little stones are put in they have a tendency to sink as the ground settles. Eventually the sod begins to grow over them and will eventually bury the stone along with the occupant of the grave. We have cut the sod back on a few in an area where we have family members buried.
My guess is that probably some of those oldest stones are now buried in the ground and finding that site would be almost impossible. And yes, people do sometimes come back, especially if they are doing family research. It is not usually a parent that comes back, but probably a brother or sister who is now a middle-aged adult.
I wonder if the Cemetery Committee has been up there and checked on this problem? Are they aware of the problem, and how do they plan to address it?
If any of you want to look, then go check with Danny Miller, who does a wonderful job of maintaining our cemetery and he will tell the particular area I am referring to.
And I know, as with most public entities, the bottom line is always money. Never enough to do everything people would like to have done. However I do think showing respect for these sites and the character that the monuments can bring to the cemetery needs to be kept in mind also.