Over the weekend, many Lewis County residents expressed frustration with the condition and the damage at a local cemetery
Following a post and dozens of photos posted on Facebook, hundreds of residents began to voice their complaints and call Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.
The photos showed the cemetery with damaged ground, vases; scattered flowers; and mud covering landmarks and gravestones.
The Facebook post received more than 400 comments and almost 600 shares and repostes.
“As I walked by today, I noticed all these ruts in the ground made by tractor tires,” said Michelle Taylor, a resident. “Several tombstones are covered in mud, multiple broken vases and tire tracks above the tombstones. A grave was dug and only three quarters of the way was backfilled with earth.
“I have loved ones in this cemetery, as I know many others. Something has to be done about it. Absolutely no one, dead or alive, deserves this level of disrespect and neglect. It is simply not acceptable.
Local resident Linda Arbogast agreed with Taylor and said she thought the situation was disrespectful.
“I understand the ground is wet, but there was no reason to crush people’s markers, knock over vases, or crush flowers,” Arbogast said. “For me, it’s a total disrespect. I am from the old school and have learned to respect your loved ones who have passed away. I have a lot of family members in this cemetery, and it upsets me a lot. Clean up the cemetery, repair the roads and don’t drive over people’s graves and markers. If the ground is wet and damaged, repair it or use a shovel to dig graves.
On Sunday evening, Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens posted a public message on its social media account, apologizing for the incident and stating that the issue would be resolved.
“We have been made aware of the problem with the Gardens of the Good Shepherd,” the cemetery said. “This is dealt with immediately. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call the office at 304-269-4231.
Forest Lawn Memorial Garden also responded to comments on the post, saying employees would deal with the issue the best they could without bringing equipment to the field.
Many locals said they were unhappy with the way the graves were handled and added that they hoped something like this would not happen again.
Weston Democrat has contacted the owners of Forest Lawn by phone, but has so far received no comment.