People are upset about conditions at West Terre Haute cemetery

Bethesda Cemetery in West Terre Haute has seen it's better days. People are saying that the owners aren't taking care of the area and removing things they placed on the graves as memorabilia.

Posted: Apr 22, 2019 6:44 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2019 10:41 PM

WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Bethesda Cemetery in West Terre Haute has seen it's better days, that's according to multiple families.

Over Easter weekend we received multiple phone calls from people who had loved ones buried in the cemetery. They told us that it was disrespecting the dead. 

In some areas of the cemetery, the grass is so high that you couldn't see the headstones. Families would have to clean their loved one's graves in order for them to look nice. 

The cemetery has two major cleanups during the year, one in the spring from March 25th-April 18th and the other in the fall from Nov. 30th-Dec. 20th. Some told us this is a problem every year. Things that people would leave in memory of their loved ones would get tossed in a pile over a hill. 

The president of the cemetery is Bill McClain.

He showed us signs that are posted throughout the cemetery with rules and regulations on them for safety and maintenance reasonings. Each grave in the cemetery is allowed one ground arrangement and one hook.

For those who are veterans, their families can put one flag on their graves. If the areas weren't cleaned in the time leading up to the dates for the cleanings, maintenance would discard the items. McClain says he's given people numerous chances to clean up the areas before maintenance had to.

"Nobody is here to do anything bad or harmful to a grave or a loved one. Everybody is killing themselves out here trying to maintain this place and do what's right to keep it respectable," said McClain. 

People who have family members in the cemetery think otherwise. 

"We want to beautify these. Our loved ones are gone you know, and this is all we can do to honor them they have no more voice," said Salena Clevenger, as she was on her knees cleaning her father's grave. 

Maintenance crews were out finishing the cleaning on Monday. They were delayed because of the bad weather lately. 

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