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Respect the dead and their resting places

Staff Report • Jul 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM

As we’ve said in this space before, the dead cannot defend themselves. That’s why it is up to the living to protect the dignity of the dead by preserving their final resting places.

Unfortunately, for caretakers of many local cemeteries, this work represents a constant struggle against time, nature and vandals. It’s the latter that is particularly disturbing. It’s amazing how often this newspaper hears from local residents who say the grave of a loved one has been molested. Most of the complaints concern flowers and their vases taken from the cemetery. Other residents report having found headstones overturned or otherwise vandalized.

What kind of person would steal flowers from a grave? Who in their right mind would find pleasure in despoiling a grave marker? It’s hard to fathom that such individuals walk freely among us.

Rest in peace should mean exactly that. Those who vandalize graves or steal items from cemeteries should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Catching them in the act, however, is the difficult part.

If you see any unusual activity near a cemetery, don’t hesitate to call 911 to report it. It’s time to drag these fiends out of the shadows.

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