KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Exposed vaults and caved in graves, damaged gravestones and mounds of dirt. One metro man said that’s the condition of a local cemetery and said he fears his family’s plots will soon be disturbed.
Seventy-one-year-old Joe Taylor said generations of his family are buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan. He said their final resting place isn’t being given the respect it deserves.
Taylor said he visits the cemetery as many as two to three times a month. Dozens of Taylor’s relatives are buried in the cemetery, including his father. Taylor said as of late their resting place has become anything but peaceful.
“You know that the cemetery is getting older but you expect them to do something and not drive a big ‘ol backhoe over the graves,” he said.
In addition to unattended sunken graves and exposed vaults, Taylor said workers drive tractors over gravestones causing damage. He said mounds of dirt are piled on top of graves without being filled in.
“I would like to see my family taken care of. A man put out some money put out good money to take care of it,” he said.
The cemetery said graves sinking is an ongoing problem and something every cemetery faces.
A spokesman, who said he is out of state, told FOX 4 it wants to dignify a beautiful cemetery. He said wet weather causes a challenge when trying to fill in graves and said the cemetery will fix any problems Taylor brings to light. He also said the cemetery is under constant maintenance.
Taylor says he’s not mad — at least not yet.
“Right now I’m not outraged, but the people need to go there that has relatives there and see if their graves are crashed in because all their doing is just taking a load of dirt and they go up and dump that dirt on the grave and hope it covers and it don’t,” Taylor told Fox 4.
The cemetery says it puts dirt on top of graves and waits for rain. It says when it rains the dirt gets muddy and fills in the holes.
The cemetery spokesman also said its workers aren’t the only ones who may have caused accidental damage to headstones. He said vault companies, lawnmowers and gravediggers may also be responsible.