Cemetery board reacts to Bethesda Cemetery cleanup

Dozens of people went to Bethesda Cemetery within the last two days. Many are still wanting answers after a spring-clean up caused confusion. The cemetery board hired a landscaping company to clean up the grounds. The board says it’s part of a yearly spring cleaning routine.

Posted: Apr 1, 2018 6:19 PM
Updated: Apr 1, 2018 11:42 PM

WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)-Dozens of people went to Bethesda Cemetery within the last two days. Many are still wanting answers after a spring-clean up caused confusion.

Community members told News 10 that they had found large piles of mementos people had left at the graves of their friends and family.

The cemetery board hired a landscaping company to clean up the grounds. The board says it’s part of a yearly spring cleaning routine.

Saturday people came back to the cemetery to sort through the special items. Others came out on Easter to help get items back to their original owners.

Some helping out didn't even have family buried there. People like Deidre Danek who just wanted to help bring peace to those who have lost someone.

"There loved one's items they've left for them. Some are very personal. I can’t imagine what any of these people are going through coming out here on Easter to find their loved one's items," said Danek.

News 10 did get a response from a cemetery board president Bill McClain. He says there are rules in place at Bethesda.

They have a sign on the cemetery grounds. It says there are limited amounts of items permitted on plots including items "not" allowed.

McClain says these rules are for the safety of the visitors and for maintenance. The sign goes on to say that items not permitted can be removed and disposed of without further notice. McClain says the rules are also outlined in the deeds.

People in the community have also started a petition. They say they are seeking changes to the cemetery's rules.

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