Stop stealing from cemeteries

Ro the editor:

I’m writing this as a “heads up” in the event you have family members or friends whose final resting place is Sidney’s Graceland Cemetery (or other area cemeteries).

My parents are buried at Graceland. My dad since 1974 and my mom since 1992. I honor them with 2 potted flower planters on their headstone. I change their flowers 2-3 times each year. I have 2 rectangle terracotta planters that I always use and they’re decorated with lovely artificial flowers. I have put flowers at their gravesite for many years.

This year, I put new flowers out the mid-April. Around May 21, I visited their site. All was good. On June 28 I was shocked and appalled when I saw that both planters, flowers and all, were gone! I went to the cemetery office and advised John of the theft. He and another worker were sympathetic of the situation but advised that thefts occur all the time. I do not blame anyone at the cemetery. They are not there 24/7 and it’s a very large area to just maintain; let alone to guard.

So my warning is this: do not leave anything of personal or monetary value on the gravesites because the next time you visit, it may not be there. My planters and flowers were not valuable except to me and my family. They represented the respect and love we still have for our parents.

If you have had a similar theft, call Luke Voisard, Graceland Cemetery Manager, 937-498-8170 and let him know of your situation.

If you happen to see my planters anywhere, take a photo and email it to me along with the location. They will most likely be sold at a garage sale or farmers market type of place. If you are visiting a cemetery in the area and see them on a headstone, your photo should include the name and info on the headstone.

To the thief(s) responsible: I would like the planters returned to my parent’s gravesite! If you don’t remember where you stole them, please return them to the Graceland Cemetery office.

I just want someone to be held accountable for their wrong doing(s) and for the thefts at any cemetery to stop! Cemeteries are sacred grounds. The thieves will be held accountable—now or when they are knocking on Heaven’s Pearly Gates.

M. Smith

Email: [email protected]