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Yarmouth Begins Enforcing Cemetery Rules

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YARMOUTH (CBS) — A family grave site is a personal piece of ground and in Yarmouth, some people are outraged over what the town has done to their family plots.

Just this week, the town has started enforcing a little-used by-law, prohibiting large displays or mementos at grave sites. On Tuesday, it looked like someone had dumped garbage among the headstones at Chandler Gray Cemetery. The bags were filled with family mementos and religious symbols that people had left.

Candy VanSciver’s husband is buried at Chandler Gray.

“For some people it’s important they have the mementos,” Gray said.

Since 1989, the town has had restrictions on what can be placed at grave sites and how much but it wasn’t until now, they started enforcing it.

Pat Armstrong of Yarmouth Parks and Recreation says it’s hard to please everyone.

“Running a cemetery is a balance between common sense and sensitivity, all we have to work with are the regulation established by the board of selectmen,” Armstrong said.

Nigel Thomas was planting flowers Tuesday, at the grave of his parents. He hadn’t heard of the restrictions but kind of agreed, saying some of the grave sites had become shrines.

“They make regulations and yeah, she’s got to go by them,” Thomas said of Armstrong.

Meanwhile, Armstrong says if people can think of better way to handle mementos at the cemetery, she’s open to hearing ideas. The by-laws will also be discussed Tuesday night at Town Meeting.

People who have left mementos at the grave sites have until early July to pick up the belongings.

 

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