Cemetery Rules Are Not Welcomed By Some East Texas Families - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/03/07-Gladewater

Cemetery Rules Are Not Welcomed By Some East Texas Families

"He was 6 and a half when he passed away. His 18th birthday is coming up."  Sabrina McBride's son, David was hit with by a truck and killed in 1996.  His body was buried at Gladewater Memorial Park on Highway 80.  For nearly 18 years, she's visited her son's grave, but not too long ago, one of her visits, caused her even more grief, she said. 

"I came out here to my son's grave.  He had a shepherd's hook placed at the headstone right here.  They removed it because someone complained that their cemetery was unsightly," she said.

As part of a clean-up effort, the City of Gladewater began strictly enforcing it's cemetery rules regarding the proper placement of certain items on headstones--rules which keep Sabrina said keep her and other families from expressing their emotions.

"Everyone needs to express grief in a different way and for us, that's how we do it," she said.

"We're trying to be sensitive to the people who are out there," said Gladewater City Secretary Melba Haralson.  Haralson said items not properly displayed become an issue for maintenance. 

"The well-meaning family members are putting things out there like, solar lights, wind chimes and bird feeders, and it causes a problem with the mowers." 

The city says it stores the items after collecting them, and tries to reconnect them to patrons.  It's something Sabrina said she respects, but still feels is an invasion of her privacy.

 

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com

 

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