The Edmond Sun

June 15, 2012

Writer: City should take better care of cemetery

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — To the Editor:

I am a lifelong Edmond resident and a Vietnam combat veteran who served in the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division. I am writing this letter in the hope that our city officials, who look after Gracelawn Cemetery at Broadway and Danforth, will take note of this issue.

My family and I have many relatives and friends who now rest in Gracelawn Cemetery, and each year we place flowers on their graves on Memorial Day. We have attended the memorial services, and we also support and show our appreciation to those servicemen and women who have served and those who have given their lives for our great country.

This Memorial Day, as well as last year, was a total disappointment to our family, and I’m sure to others with loved ones who rest in this cemetery. We expected the grounds to be freshly mowed and trimmed, only to find once again, the complete opposite. The grounds were completely overgrown and unkempt, and the entire cemetery was very unsightly. Last year, I contacted the person in charge of upkeep of Gracelawn and expressed that it is an embarrassment to the residents of Edmond, as well as those from out of town who come to the cemetery and memorial services to honor their loved ones.

It looked more like a field with tombstones instead of the peaceful, neat and welcoming place it should be.

I was told it was a matter of timing, and the crew hired to maintain the grounds were not scheduled to mow that week. I told him this should not happen and that this is a special day set aside for our loved ones and our military who have passed. He was very nice and seemed very concerned, and I felt certain this would not happen again. To my surprise and disappointment, this year was a repeat of the last, and the state of the grounds overshadowed this day of remembrance.

It seems to be of little concern to those in charge that this is a special day. Could it be possible, when bids are taken for grounds keeping on a site such as this, to include a stipulation stating that “Grounds must be freshly mowed and trimmed for the Memorial Day celebration”? It seems to me to be a simple request.

I know I speak for others who share my feelings. We should at least show our respect for those who have given their lives so we can live ours freely by having a beautiful place for them to rest in eternity.

George W. Lynch