Cemetery receives backlash after Easter grave decor removed day after

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BUENA VISTA (WSLS 10) - A scheduling error at a Buena Vista cemetery caused backlash from the community after decorations were taken off grave sites just after Easter. Tuesday, the people who bought the decorations demanded answers as they tried to salvage what's left.

"They didn't give us any thought to our feelings about what we do for our families," said Sheena Edwards, who has family resting at the Green Hill Cemetery. "They just threw it away, like it was nothing."

Edwards fumbled through the pile of what's left of Easter decorations. Every holiday she visits her parents' and brothers' graves at the cemetery.

This past Easter Sunday, Edwards like others, decorated family headstones. However, a day after, the holiday flowers, flags and Easter decor were removed so public work crews could cut the grass.

"I'm upset because, it was taken off when it wasn't supposed to be taken off," said Former City Mayor Mike Clements, whose wife is buried at the cemetery.

WSLS 10 was able to obtain a copy of the Green Hill Cemetery rule book which states that holiday decorative spreads are allowed to stay on or next to the grave for a weeks' time before being trashed.

Public Works Director Ed Cahill told us it was an honest mistake.

"When we scheduled this a couple of weeks ago, everyone forgot about Easter," said Cahill. "So, we are profoundly sorry to everybody for the anguish and trouble we've caused."

Cahill further said maintenance crews were just doing their job. While this violates cemetery regulation, people were notified days before in the paper as to when the cemetery's grass would be cut.

"We need to put a little more time and effort into it and have a calendar in front of you when making a date," said Clements.

Edwards said it's not about the money, but caring for those you loved who have moved on.

Cahill said this mistake will never happen again.