Hacked off


I always thought of cemeteries to be a place for people to go to visit and honor their loved ones. Well, not at Oakdale Cemetery in Leetonia. Last Saturday, my husband and I stopped and bought 20 geraniums, some topsoil and mulch. We were met by his daughter and granddaughter and together we planted all the flowers at his family member’s graves. Just one geranium per person, nothing elaborate for Memorial Day. It was hot and humid and took us about three hours but we got it done.

Then we got a phone call from his brother on Monday saying all the flowers were weed whacked down. My husband called the secretary who told him you are not allowed to plant flowers on graves.

We read the sign at the entrance and it said no trees, bushes or landscaping.

Everytime we left pots of flowers they turned up missing. Also, many of the plastic flowers are still on the graves and should have been off on May 1.

All of the graves we did were far apart so they really had to search with that weed whacker. But then again, they were on a mission to rid the place of the “illegal geraniums”.

Oakdale is not the type of cemetery with all flat stones or I could understand their actions.

Perhaps the board and the secretary should take a little ride to Riverside Cemetery in Poland. At night the entire place twinkles with solar lights and at times there are traffic jams just trying to get to gravesites. I once saw where a girl had left her wedding veil on her Dad’s grave after she got married.

I am so glad my family members are not buried in Oakdale. Everytime I visit there all I feel is “gone and forgotten.” Not because of the family members but because of the rules enforced by the board members.

I only hope that someday when they are six feet under, someone plants a little flower at their grave only to be whacked off a couple of days later.

Patricia Spencer-Kleinknecht

New Middletown