Cemetery Grass Upsets Those Honoring Veterans

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – The nation and North Texas are pausing this Memorial Day to honor the sacrifices of our war veterans, but some families feel like their military loved ones have been forgotten.

At Southland Memorial Park in Grand Prairie, the headstones of some fallen heroes were hard to find beneath the overgrown grass and weeds.

“This is injustice, this is not right!” said Jan Hyde, whose mother and father, a WWII veteran, are buried in the cemetery. “My dad’s was completely covered up. It just broke my heart.”

Hyde came to the cemetery Memorial Day morning to pay respect, not only to her father but to the other veterans buried there.  “I feel like that’s my obligation on Memorial Day,” she said, “to honor them by putting a flag out on their headstones.”

Respect is the last thing she feels like her parents and all the other men and women buried at Southland are receiving.  “This is not honor, this is awful,” she said, “I don’t even have a word to describe it, it’s awful.”

Arvivian Roberts searched the cemetery for an hour to find her father and sister’s headstones.  “It’s horrible. I think for the owners of this land to neglect it, it’s like neglect and abuse of our loved ones,” she said. “I’ve actually went and wiped off dead grass to read headstones, I should not have to do that to find my loved ones, it’s horrible.”

After several complaints, the owner of the cemetery sent crews out to mow the area, but some families say it shouldn’t take a complaint to get the care the dead deserve.

“If you look around you see trash, you see dead flowers, weeds,” she explained, “Today is Memorial Day. There should be a respect, a certain solitude about taking care of people’s loved ones.”

“They deserve better than this.” Hyde said. “Shame on us to allow this, and not to honor these men and women who gave their lives, and we can’t do any better?”

CBS 11 did try to contact the owner of the cemetery, Bill Strong. He did not return our calls.


One Comment

  1. MurMom says:

    Where are these families the other 364 days a year? Why pawn off the “respect” of your loved ones resting place to the cemetery owner? I’m certain the grass and weeds didn’t just appear.

    1. 2sister says:

      Maybe they do go there more than once a year or maybe they don’t live near the cemetery. They might have moved away. Also, some kinds of weeding and lawn work probably take special equipment. Furthermore, the relatives might not have the ability to take care of the weeds. There loved ones might be buried there, but the cemetery is private property. The cemetery has workers that are supposed to take care of the cemetery.

      1. Mr Black says:

        Wow! I bet if the grounds keepers put as much effort in cleaning up the place as you did in coming up with excuses, there wouldn’t have been a reason to write this story.

      2. 2sister says:

        Mr. Black I think you misread my previous posts. I wasn’t making excuses for why the grounds keepers hadn’t been keeping up with their cleaning. I was saying that we shouldn’t judge the families that have loved one’s buried there. I was trying to say that there might only be so much that the families can do about the weeds. We know nothing about the families in the story, and so it is not fair to judge them. They might not live near the cemetery. Also, since the cemetery is private property, the grounds keepers are responsible for mowing. The grounds keepers have or should have the proper equipment to take care of the property. The families probably don’t, and might not even be allowed to take care of the cemetery if they did. .

    2. ChurchSox says:

      My father and grandparents are in that cemetery, and I’m in Seattle.

      Any other thoughts you’d care to share?

    3. Good Grief says:

      “Pawn off the respect?” News Flash: Maintenance of the grave site is one of the many basic services paid for when one has paid for the internment in a particular cemetery.

      1. eric baxter says:

        Absolutely correct. You think that some of the brain dead morons like ‘Melvin’ or ‘Ed’ or ‘TaoSunTzu’ might eventually wise up and get a clue? Nope, not a snowball’s chance in Hell of that, my friend.

    4. krystyna says:

      Murmom…this is why people buy cemetery lots in perpetual care cemeteries; so that THEY don’t have to do the upkeep on their loved one’s grave. If this is a perpetual care cemetery, then it’s the cemetery owner who is supposed to keep up the cemetery & NOT the family.

  2. KLA says:

    Directed at MurMom: of course they didn’t just disappear, my husband and Mother are there and you would not believe the problems I’ve had with this cemetery. It takes weeks sometimes to get anything done…. I generally give a few days after rain before I check things out, but go back again and again over weeks and it’s total neglect. The height of those weeds in the picture above didn’t JUST appear.

    1. teaisstronger says:

      In Boston, there is a small cemetery where three signers of the declaration of independence and one president are buried. Its a dump with weeds growing and trash littering the place. This Federal Government and Congress will not do anything they are suppose to do. Democrats hate American’s military so why would you expect anything different.

      Our Government and this Congress need a good strong dose of TEA.

      1. eric baxter says:

        They got one in November of last year and they’re going to get another one in November 2012.

      2. CharlotteNC says:

        Tea Party = smaller government. Not federal government mandated cemetary grass cutting programs you moron. I’m starting to think tea party is simply a euphinism for full on moron. You can’t have it both ways jackhole. I want smaller government and that means smaller government. That doesn’t mean reducing government services so we can spend it all cutting some facking grass.

      3. eric baxter says:

        Smaller government has nothing to do with it, you ASS. Perpetual care is a contractual arrangement between tow private parties. The frigging government’s only business in that arrangement is to enforce the existing contract via the court system. The government doesn’t do the grass cutting you stupid turd. I bet all your iPod/MP3 player has on it is a recording of someone saying “breathe in, breathe out” over and over again so your stupid ass doesn’t suffocate… What a waste of oxygen you are !!!

      4. frankie says:

        they need a swift kick in the arse is what they need

      5. JB says:

        That is indeed horrible and a big injustice to those dead patriots, BUT, what is stopping you from taking your lawn mower over there and doing it yourself ? I mean no disrespect to you, but sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands when you see something that is wrong.

      6. Eric Baxter says:

        That is true, and this frequently is done; however that does nothing to change the fact that the ineluctable Mr. Strong needs to get his ass in gear and provide the services he has been paid for.

      7. Beez says:

        JB: in many cases, there are laws that keep you from mowing on someone else’s property…not to mention, this is not a realistic option for many elderly or infirm people. Why does everyone feel the need to blame the people who are upset at the cemetery management?

    2. Kathleen says:

      My mother has a plot there but it will be over MY dead body that we use it! As long as Bill Strong is over the cemetery, things will not change. He is the most inconsiderate, lazy human being (used roughly)!!! While Mom has lived in GP for over 50 years, only since he has been in charge has Southland completely been forgotten. It’s time that someone take a look at what’s going on! Mr. Strong is not doing his job and in this economy maybe it’s time for him to lose his!!!!

    3. James Dean says:

      On Memorial Day we go out to the cemetary and cut the weeds ourselves. This is to honor our hero who has passed on to a better place. Never gave much thought to just spending the day whinning. I guess we all celebrate in our won way. Pity America has passed from a nation of heroes to a nation of whinners.

      1. 2sister says:

        Are you saying that you cut the weeds in front of the grave? What about all of the weeds that are growing in other places in the cemetery? This cemetery sounds like it might need a little more than just simple weed pulling in front of the graves. What if the people who are complaining are not in good health or live far away. We need to be sensitive in our comments.

      2. Tina says:

        James Dean, when I was growing up, that is what we did on Memorial Day weekend every year – we cared for our family’s graves in all the small cemeteries. We loaded hoes, shovels and trimmers in the car and made the rounds, working alongside other families out for the same purpose. It is indeed an honorable task, and one I still feel pride in when I have the opportunity.

        Permanent care funds have since been established for most of these and earn a small interest that assures mowing a few times a year. It’s a help for people like me who now live far away from those graves we helped tend as children. But the funds were created by donations from families and in most cases the maintenance is still managed by area families on behalf of all.

  3. Laura Singleton says:

    It’s been like this since 1973. My mother complained until she died in 1997 but nothing was done by the owner. I go out 3 or 4 times a year to clear my parents graves and those surrounding it. Today I saw them mowing the back section which is the newest. The worker was just picking up flowers and throwing them into a stack. Some might have blown off their original site but not as many as I saw him collecting. I picked up trash along the fence on both sides and filled a large bag with dead branches trimmed off the bushes in the fence. My brother said the section between the road and the fence was still unmowed in the afternoon. I have family buried in cemetaries around the country and none look as bad as this.

  4. Todd says:

    So where is the outrage the rest of the year? It is telling that these people,like most,do not visit but once a year.

    1. ChurchSox says:

      So how many times a year do you have to visit in order to prompt the owners into fulfilling their contractual obligation to keep up the cemetery?

      1. According to other posts on this thread, this cemetery has always been neglectful. I just find it disingenuous that on one day of the year, people become outraged. It is not about the deceased, it is about their outrage.

        If they are that outraged, maybe they should pay closer attention during the rest of the year. I have recounted the fact that in most countries, people pay respect for the departed by cleaning the graves and leaving food and flowers.

        One poster recounted that in their youth, it was “decoration day”.

        We have become so dependent on other people that we are now whining about somebody else taking care of a grave.

        Sorry for all of you

      2. Beez says:

        @born is so focused on making his minor cultural point, he just can’t admit that the cemetery has done anything wrong, and he must consistently paint anyone who complains about it as one-time whiners. He knocks over his strawman about people only being outraged one day of the year, since he admits that people have complained about it always being neglectful – which means they notice more than one day a year. He should be more upset that the media only COVERS it one day a year, since clearly people complain about it more often than that. (But that would require him to shed his intellectual dishonesty.)

      3. Beez says:

        (And incidentally, I plan to be cremated – and that is partly because I see the cemetery industry as doomed to become fraudulent, because eventually all of them will run out of place to store bodies and keep new revenue streams flowing, and then shenanigans WILL occur. That doesn’t mean I think they should be allowed to get away with said shenanigans.)

    2. James W. Adams says:

      The point is, this cemetery contains Vets. One would think the owner would make certain that on this one special day the land is well groomed.

    3. eric baxter says:

      Who gives a s#!t? It doesn’t matter if the NEVER visit the grave. Bill frigging Strong still is obligated to uphold his ned of the deal. Visitation…. are you for real?

    4. Ornley Gumfudgen says:

      I really agree with ya. Th complaint that they had ta search for hours ta find thair father’s an sister’s grave is about as ridiculous as they come. This person feels outraged but apparently honestly didn’t already know where the father and sister’s graves were? Yeah right, those two people were such important nstrumental factors in this person’s life they don’t even know where they are buried? Amazing.

      Not takin th cemetery’s side but thair has been a lot of bad weather an th financial problems affectin everyone else has also been affectin th cemetaries.

      Time was in our nation whair family members ensured th grave sites of thair loved ones were always in good repair an not just fer major holidays whair people occasionally put down thair hamburgers an beer an go over ta th cemetery ta pay thair respects on a regular basis.

      1. eric baxter says:

        I sure wish you would go ‘for ta pay yer respects’ to a damned English textbook on a regular basis. You just sound like a complete window-licker.

      2. Beez says:

        It appears many people have been TRYING to improve conditions for a while, to no avail. I know exactly (on paper) where some family members are buried – but when a cemetery is allowed to grow over, the visual cues in finding a particular spot can be obscured. It sounds like you haven’t visited enough cemeteries to be aware of this.

        I don’t care about the cemetery’s financial problems. If they can’t meet their obligations, they should seek to be officially discharged from them, instead of getting shills to come onto web sites and ask for handouts (as has happened in certain other posts on this thread). I can’t believe YOU are more willing to accommodate THEIR financial problems, and not accommodate the problems of family members who might be too old, too sick or too distant to perform the caretaking duties that someone else was already paid to perform.

    5. teaisstronger says:

      How can any American feel anything other than hatred toward our Government and Congress for neglect like this. Remember the honorable treatment they gave to Obama Ben Laden. Obama ordered over 1500 men to their deaths in Afghanistan and for what?

      1. James Dean says:

        It shouldn’t be about what the government does for us. Memorial day is about honoring the ones who gave life and freedom for us. Maybe next year each of us could honor them with a small unselfish act for another. Forget Washington, those losers will always come up short.

    6. Eric Baxter says:

      Todd, you are odd and certainly a ridiculous clod. What in hell does periodic outrage have to do with a contractual obligation. Also, if the only time outrage is displayed is on Memorial Day, doesn’t it stand to reason that Mr. Strong would save himself a lot of bad press if he would just get off his fat ass and have the damned grass cut just that once a year? Are you really that dense or are you a few sandwiches shy a picnic??

  5. Janwood 1 says:

    Get in touch with your local congressman, mayor or other public official. Write a letter to the newspaper. Get so much attention focused on the owners that they are forced to do their job better. There must be laws about keeping the cemetery cleaned up, just like homes and businesses are supposed to keep their yards cleaned up.

    1. teaisstronger says:

      I once read that a private group of volunteers tried to plant sod and maintain a burial site for veterans but were forbidden because it was not authorized on federal land.

      1. pdcgimpy says:

        thats the problem with teabaggers. you people always have a bad case of the “theysaids”

      2. Beez says:

        pdcgimpy: physician, heal thyself.

        And his story is true and frequent, there are myriad examples of why it may not be a good idea to just show up and “do what needs to be done”. http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1876454809/Trustee-Teenager-was-not-authorized-to-clean-up-Haverhill-cemetery/print

  6. The Undertaker says:

    You can make a complaint to the TEXAS FUNERAL SERVICE COMMISSION
    PO Box 12548, Austin Texas 78711 or call 512-463-2070.

    Im sure it wont be the first, or the last… MOST Snakes like high grass and weeds…. So sad that people pay money for it to be kept a certain way… I wonder if his Pawn Shops grass or his house grass is that bad…?

  7. Mr Black says:

    I see a lawsuit coming.

    1. 2sister says:

      Mr. Black I think you misread my previous posts. I wasn’t making excuses for why the grounds keepers hadn’t been keeping up with their cleaning. I was saying that we shouldn’t judge the families that have loved one’s buried there. I was trying to say that there might only be so much that the families can do about the weeds. We know nothing about the families in the story, and so it is not fair to judge them. They might not live near the cemetery. Also, since the cemetery is private property, the grounds keepers are responsible for mowing. The grounds keepers have or should have the proper equipment to take care of the property. The families probably don’t, and might not even be allowed to take care of the cemetery if they did. .

  8. melvin says:

    i feel if your not happy with the way it’s being taken care of get out there and do it yourself .. it doesn’t take any special tools to pull a few weeds away from a headstone. use your hands and quit all the crying .

    1. ChurchSox says:

      Does the contract for sale of the burial plot contain a clause that says the site will be maintained? Bet it does. If that’s the case, how does it get to be the customer’s responsibility to maintain Southland Funeral Home’s property.

      1. CantFeedThenDontBreed says:

        EXACTLY. If Southland is selling burial plots, and the contract includes “perpetual care” ( most do ) then Southland IS IN BREACH OF THE CONTRACT. AND, to all the loudmouths who want families to haul their tools and lawnmowers out to the cemetery ( perhaps HUNDREDS of miles ) to clean up their family plot, I present the following which is EXACTLY what you’re asking those families to do:
        1) Go buy an aftermarket car warranty for your vehicle
        2) The next time there’s a COVERED mechanical breakdown, call them
        3) When they REFUSE to fix your car or otherwise pay for the repair, then
        GOT IT ?

      2. Devin says:

        The general remedy for a material breach of contract is simple damages, not requiring the cemetery to actually do anything beyond paying damages. Actually getting damages requires hiring a lawyer who is unlikely to pursue a suit with so little money on the table.

      3. Ornley Gumfudgen says:

        Even if it does, unless someone occasionally stops buy ta ensure th contract is doin what it’s supposed ta do, an apparently no one was doin it on a regular basis cus if they had it would have surfaced before Memorial Day, who will hold Southland Funeral Home’s feet ta th legal fire.

        This apparently has been goin on fer quite some time, why all th anger just because th story was told on Memorial Day?

        If these people were really all that important ta th folks complainin about it they would have done somethang about it a long time ago instead of whinin about it now.

        Now tha story I’d really like ta hear is how many families that had buried thair love ones killed in military action actually stopped by th cemetery yesterday or over th weekend ta pay thair respects ta that loved one. I am bettin that less than half actually bothered ta take th time ta show up fer more than five minutes.

        Fer me, I would have loved ta have that opportunity. Unfortunately my dad’s grave is unknown ta everyone cept him of course. So I content myself ta visit th graves of others in his honor. An yes, I have been known ta pull a weed or th grass back away frum th headstone of people I never met cus I know they died so I could be free ta tend ta thair grave when thair own families won’t see ta it.

        It don’t make me better than th next guy but helps me ta feel better about myself an I believe it’s th right thang ta do.

        So ya guys fight with th cemetery over money an thair obligations, while th graves still go untended, an I’ll still find th time ta occasionally go over an clean up a grave site.

      4. Warren says:

        Stop expecting other people to do what needs to be done. If people are soooooo outraged, then buy a tank of gas, get your lawnmower, and cut it. If you still expect others to do what you complain about, you are the problem. “so and so should be responsible for this and that”..bla bla bla. If we waited for people top become responsible then prepare to sit in weeds. You be the Harvester and claim the good wheat by performing the actions others complain about.

      5. Beez says:

        People should stop defending people who do not do what they are obligated to do, especially at the expense of people who are rightfully upset about it.

    2. Susan says:

      Melvin, Your a jacka$$ and must be the owner of the cemetary, a friend or relative or this business owner that fails on a daily basis to be a moral person and uphold his contractual obligations to the family he sells plots to. The owner seems to either be a money grubbing jerk or has no business owning the property and needs to sell to someone with more sense.

    3. eric baxter says:

      Hey, Idiot- the jerk that owns the cemetary is INDEED contractually obligated to take care of the grounds. It is NOT the families’ jobs to be mowing, weed-eating and preforming the other duties of caretaker. If you feel that strongly about your position then YOU need to get your ass out there and do it for all of them. Doofus !

    4. Olivia says:

      People get old. Sometimes the surviving relatives aren’t physically able to do those kinds of things, or even go regularly to the cemetery. I am now 72, I still go to my parents graves a few times a year just to make sure everything is ok and to put on flowers for special occasions. I used to go every week when I was younger. Fortunately the cemetery where they are buried does an excellent job of maintenance. I am just saying not to judge families for not going out to do the job of the land owners. Some dead have no one left living to do that job.

  9. Lillian Rodgers says:

    I have a nephew that is buried that he has been there for over 3 years and I can not get anyone to place a marker to show where he is at. I have called the number on the sign and they tell me its not there place, I have to call the funeral home, I call them and they will give me a marker but I have no ideal where he is buried at. It is totally ridiculous I have never seen a cemetery run like this one.

    1. Pamela says:

      Lillian my name is Pamela and I am having the same problem with trying to locate my father. This has been going on for almost 2 years for me and it like I am getting nowhere. I called the funeral home and they tell me to talk to a Mr. or Rev. Wetherall and he will tell me the two people my father is buried between but I still can’t find him because there is nothing marking these plots. I don’t know what to do but I have his number if you need it.

      1. Dave says:

        I don’t mean to be rude, but in most cemeteries, the family is responsible for providing the marker. That is usually arranged through either the funeral home or cemetery. At most what is put down with out additional funds is a temporary marker made of low quality metal, similar to a garden stake.
        The cemetery should however be able to tell you where every one is buried.

  10. durham says:

    I wonder if the cemetery workers are members of a union? Maybe actual work would have interfered with their break schedule.

  11. Bruce says:

    If you’re so concerned for your decease father, where have you been? You haven’t visited lately have you.

    1. snowflake220 says:

      My God how dumb are you bruce? Do you really think it is the responsibility of the loved ones to keep the grounds kept up? It does not matter how often someone visits..it is NOT THEIR responsibility. It is the owners job to keep up their OWN grounds.

      Do you really expect everyone to bring a lawnmower, weedeater, trimmer, etc., everytime they visit? How many loved ones have YOU visited and saw everyone bringing their own lawnmower?

      This place makes up to ONE MILLION a year and employs 5-6 people. You’re telling me a MILLION a year and they can’t afford to keep their OWN property neat?

      1. “Do you really think it is the responsibility of the loved ones to keep the grounds kept up?”

        With all due respect, in most countries, people tend the graves of their loved ones themselves. Why do you not think that if it is that important that you could visit regularly and pull the weeds your self?

        Russia had their version of memorial day last month and my in-laws spent a day cleaning and tending the grave. They leave flowers and food on the grave. They traveled by bus for 4 hours each way. It was raining and they cleaned the stones, pulled the weeds and prayed for them.

        In the Philippines, they spend the night on the grave’s of loved ones and have a mass said.

        We have grown accustom to everything being done for us. I respectfully recommend that as a culture, we reorder our priorities and start to take care of ourselves.

      2. YesSir says:

        Snowflake 1, bruce and bornto 0. The cemetary is responsible for the maintenance of the grounds.

      3. Yessir:
        You are most correct, they are not responsible for the maintainance and upkeep of the grave. That is someone else’s responsibility. I agree that they should just stand there in horror and complain. Let the weeds grow while you holler at them. Forget that it is your loved one that is lying under the weeds. And for God’s sake, don’t take any responsibility yourself!

      4. bruce says:

        Snowflake 220,
        This is a typical lethargic American. I guess the love one was deaf and dumb; Deaf for not visiting occasionally and dumb because they didn’t speak up sooner. If it was uncared for now, it was probably uncared for in the past. That’s why it’s important to make your voice be heard. It’s called being vigilant. Her loved on cries out from the grave to be vigilant. That’s not asking to much for the freedom she indulges herself in.

      5. Beez says:

        I can’t believe all of the communists making comments here. Apparently, nobody believes in binding contracts anymore. All of the people blaming the loved ones in this situation will probably enjoy standing in the Soviet-style bread lines in our looming future where people are not accountable to each other, and the government is accountable to no one.

    2. Beez says:

      I’m reading comments from people who HAVE been complaining for YEARS about THIS particular cemetery, to no avail. Any OTHER “intelligent” comments to make?

    3. eric baxter says:

      It’s none of your frocking business when the last time the grave was visited, if ever !!! Visitation stats have nothing to do with perpetual care contracts !!! Why can’t you and your stupid buddies get that through your thick heads????

      1. Beez says:


  12. Ed says:

    Why are there no pictures of the cemetery, from a broader perspective? I’d like to see what the rest of the place looks like.

    @melvin: Agreed.

    1. eric baxter says:

      You are an even bigger idiot the Melvin. What a -hole !

  13. Allen T says:

    Get your governor to mow and weed for a year as punishment.

    1. Beez says:

      It’s not a state matter (yet) – but if it were, I would suggest he draft a workforce of people such as yourself (if he can afford the huge training bill).

  14. Dan says:

    Considering the education level in this country, or lack thereof, perhaps the words “perpetual care” have no meaning.

  15. To all the Dolts out there says:

    Some of you are dolts. I live miles away from my parents and get out 2 a year. Now most if not all have a contract that states that the plot will be kept clean. And yes that is a UNION job.

  16. Eric-Gunther :Oberhauser says:

    I bet the local golf course is very neatly cut, If I were in the area I would make it very unsightly like I did here with a 4 wheeler.

    1. SayWhat? says:

      Go drink some more moonshine with your sister/wife you redneck.

  17. snowflake220 says:

    Southland Memorial Park in Grand Prairie, TX is a private company categorized under Cemeteries. Our records show it was established in 1949 and incorporated in Texas. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $500,000 to $1 million and employs a staff of approximately 5 to 9.


    ONE MILLION a year and they can’t afford to mow?

    Those who think loved ones should be taking care of their own loved ones plots…do you REALLY think they should all bring mowers, weedeater, trimmers, etc. to keep up someone else’s PRIVATE property? People PAID for these plots and along with that PAID plot comes maintenance. I doubt the agreement when buying a plot here states “YOU bring your OWN MOWER AND YOU keep up OUR property for US!”

    1. par for the course says:

      I used to handle the books for a cemetery owner in another state, and I’m willing to bet that this group’s revenues are closer to the $500K than the million. He had 2 large cemeteries, and rarely made more than $525K in a year. Some years, personnel costs alone exceeded revenues. He kept them pretty nice, until he went bankrupt. The City took over the cemeteries and blew through the $1.6M this guy had set aside for perpetual care in about a year. The taxpayers fund them now, less about $500K in revenues collected each year. As plots sell out, you are going to see a lot of cemeteries suffer the same fate. It’s a losing business model. I plan to get cremated.

  18. With all due respect, in most countries, people tend the graves of their loved ones themselves.

    Russia had their version of memorial day last month and my in-laws spent a day cleaning and tending the grave. They leave flowers and food on the grave.

    We have grown accustom to everything being done for us. I respectfully recommend that as a culture, we reorder our priorities and start to take care of ourselves.

    1. MrNiceGuy says:

      It is the cemetary’s responsibility to maintain the grounds, not the families’.

      1. So let the weeds grow and complain. When did we lose the respect of the dead that we would not take it upon ourselves to maintain the grave?

        Yes technically, it is not their responsibility but do the dear departed care who is pulling the weeds?

        Everybody needs to get their priorities straight.

    2. Beez says:

      Ah, Russia. No wonder you expect so little from a binding contract.

  19. Olga Zurova says:

    Probably a bunch of Mexicans who have no idea what Memorial Day is, or even care.

    1. MR, Houston says:

      With a name like Olga, who are you callling Mexican , you racist Pig! What a idiot!

      1. James Dean says:

        Mexican is not a racist term. Silly. It is a nationalist term and most are mighty proud to be Mexican. You might re-examine your own thoughts as to why you think the way you do.

  20. Ramon Hill says:

    They are dead. Period. Just like we all wil be one day. Part of “paying respect” is to clean up the area. Most people here seem to be a bunch of cry babies wanting someone else to do what they need to do for theiselves. If you are to old to do it, what about YOUR children, or neices or nephews? Don’t they need to be taught a bit of “respect”? Who is going to care for YOUR grave?

    1. Susan says:

      I am amazed at all the jacka$$ people on this website posting that upkeep is the responsiblity of families.. Most plots have continuous care that comes along with the fee they pay to be buried. In only the most rural of locations does this not occur, and even then the locals take it upon themselves to do it and take up collections from vistors on Memorial Day.

    2. Dutchmann45 says:

      Amen, at least we have ONE person here with common sense,,Thanks.

    3. eric baxter says:

      I’ll tell you who… It will be the SOB that contractually obligated himself to do so. And I will attach a codicil to my will with financial provision to initiate the lawsuit. What the hell is wrong with you, anyway??

    4. Schnurri says:

      I don’t care who will take care of my grave or even iif I geet buried. I hope to be with God and won’t care.

  21. Jack P says:

    Can’t afford to buy gas for the mowers.

  22. Bill Johnson says:

    This is symptomatic of where we are as a country. There’s very little accountability anywhere and I see here that some people lack the common sense to recognize that the management of the cemetery is responsible for maintaining the property. Look at what happened at Arlington National Cemetery where hundreds of bodies of our heroes don’t match the head stones. How long did it take for the incompetent, lazy slobs who managed this hallowed ground to be fired? (A long time.) I would not be surprised to learn they’re getting their fat pensions. The excuse given was: “If only they had switched from a card system to a computer system, the problem would not have happened.” This entire country is on the skids. It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to get cemetery management at Southland to perform basic services, but these days — considering the prevalence of amoral, lazy creeps everywhere — it’s not a big surprise.

  23. Futbolfan says:

    If it took an hour to find the headstone, they must not visit very often.

    1. Arcny Cary says:

      Which is relevant how?

      1. Dutchmann45 says:

        They would have seen the condition of the graveyard and done something about it earlier,,,any other quetions?

    2. Beez says:

      If it is free to put a body there, you have a point. Otherwise, you haven’t a clue.

      1. dave says:

        it is my understanding that this particular cemetery had the Dallas County contract for “Indigent” burials, until they went with cremations. So it is possible that they have been buried at county expense. Even still the county would never have entered into a contract with a cemetery that would allow a lack of perpetural care would they? I don’t know. But it is unusual to have an operating cemetery within city limits that is not perpetual care. It happens, but not often.

      2. Beez says:

        Dave, it is likely that the county does have some minimum maintenance requirements before a cemetery is eligible to be considered for one of these agreements – so there actually could be code violations as a result of this, as well.

    3. eric baxter says:

      Who gives a rat’s ass? What difference does that make?? Unless visitation is dictated in the contract (that sounds like something and idiot like you would come up with) it doesn’t matter for s**t. You really need some therapy….

  24. Archy cary says:

    What do you expect people when the national leader goes golfing to acknowledge Memorial Day

    1. eric baxter says:

      ‘National leader’, my ass…

    2. Schnurri says:

      He is only the leader of the New World Order.

  25. Sherman says:

    You whiners need to get off your fat ass and clean up the resting place of your ‘loved’ one.

    1. Beez says:

      Great. Can they get a full refund for the money already paid that was supposed to INCLUDE such care? Seriously, dude, go back to Cuba or Russia or whatever communist country colored your thinking about contractual responsibilities.

    2. eric baxter says:

      You need to shut the hell up. I be you never ‘cared’ for anything in your whole miserable life, you worthless turd.

  26. Hank Warren says:

    No money for veterans but plenty of money to support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:

    1. eric baxter says:

      I AM a veteran… Up yours, you conspiracy loon.

    2. Schnurri says:

      I’m a Veteran too and I agree, UP YOURS.

  27. John Smith says:

    Many have “perpetual care” agreements with cemetaries, if these families have such agreements the proper venue is the courts. Lacking those agreements one must reflect upon who the proper caretakers of memories are. As a small boy I recall Memorial day being referred to as “Decoration day”. We as a family traveled to a cemetary many miles away, we carried flowers and tools, the flowers to decorate those graves, the tools to facilitate any maintenance required. Seems as usual, many expect “others” to do what they themselves should.

  28. Dutchmann45 says:

    Instead of complaining about the uncut grass why hasn’t someone seen this earlier and gotten volunteers to go out and cut it themselve,,Why, because the only time they show their respect is once a year and no more.
    OH yeah, and we have become a country of “You do it,,I’m to da&^%$ LAZY”

    Yeah,,that’s it.

    1. Beez says:

      America has become a country of people who think it’s perfectly okay for other people to welch on their contractual obligations – be those cemetery maintenance or mortgage repayment. Thanks for being part of the problem.

      Besides, all indications are that many people HAVE complained throughout the year…this is the only day the media REPORTED it.

  29. Anonymous age 69 says:

    Mexicans have Day of the Dead, and all graves are clean and decorated to a high level on that day, and in fact on most days. Another useless nasty racist remark.

    1. Schnurri says:

      Yeah, and some Mexican cemeteries dig up the bones when families stop paying rent on graves and toss them out. So much for Mexican cemeteries.

  30. John J says:

    In the mid 80’s I was part of a crew that rescued a cemetary. The previous management, after opening the cemetary in 1954, left town in the middle of the night with all the money including the perpetual care funds. It was unmanaged for 11 years. The weeds were so bad, sprinkling system cut where people were burying their own relatives wherever they thought they owned the land, it was a mess. Today it is back to a condition better and unlike it ever was. I pray this does not happen to you also. And Sherman, will you drive the 1,800 miles to clean up a cemetary where your loved ones are buried or will you sit on your fat ass? It isn’t always that easy.

    1. Schnurri says:

      1800 miles? I’ll choose to sit on my A–! My folks are with GOD and could care less about grass on their gaves.

      1. John J says:

        When you purchase a site for burial a certain amount of that purchase goes into a fund called perpetual care. That money is invested, earns interest, and the revenues generated from this fund are to pay for upkeep of the cemetary (i.e.pay the sextons to do their job and maintain the grass, flowers, trees). Unlike you, some people enjoy visiting a cemetary to paying respect to those who raised them, nurtured them, actually cared for them. I see where your respect for your folks sits. Maybe you should get your funeral services and burial plot finalized while you can. If your kids are anything like you they may just let you sit in the morgue until the “Abandon Body” tag is hung from your toe. After all, out of site, out of mind, right?

    2. Schnurri says:

      John J. : LOL I hope that my kids are not stupid enough to spend $10,000 plus, putting my corpse in the ground. A corpse is a corpse and nothing else no matter who it is. You may whorship an inanimate object but not me. Besides my folks are buried 3,000 miles from me and I know that they don’t care if grass grows over their graves. Showing my parents respect is more than pulling weeds. I showed them respect when I did not dodge the draft and became a disabled Veteran as a result. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      1. Beez says:

        A corpse may be a corpse – but a contract is also a contract. It may be stupid to purchase such a contract – but it is criminal not to honor it. I can’t believe you’re defending the criminals in this case.

      2. Beez says:

        …unless you are making the point that your reverence for your parents need not include taking over landscaping duties, in which case I can see the point.

  31. ForSure says:

    With all due respect some of us here in America, do not belive that the dead can hear us. So I don’t pray for the dead or put food on their grave for the rodents to eat that are at the cemetery. It is the responsibilty of the cemetery to keep the grounds that’s what they are paid to do.

  32. robert m. peters says:

    Commercial cemeteries reflect the estrangement of our culture. Cemeteries are no longer gardens maintained by Churches or by families. They have become convenient places for detached families.

    1. Beez says:

      Lament the changing of the culture all you want – but if you work and live in this culture, I hope you at least respect contract law. Otherwise, you won’t mind buying this bridge I wish to sell you…

    2. eric baxter says:

      Detachment, my ass. Doesn’t effect the contract one iota.

    3. 2sister says:

      It isn’t necessarily so that families can be detached. There are certain legal rules about where you can bury people. When my mom’s uncle died, his wife wanted to bury him on her family’s ranch. The county or who ever was in charge told her that she couldn’t do that. So you had him cremated and put his ashes on the ranch. We need to be sensitive and realize that people can’t just bury their loved ones anywhere they want to.

  33. Jon Randall says:

    Someone found a human skull in the grass at this cemetery just a few months ago.


    1. eric baxter says:

      It probably belonged to ‘Ed’ or ‘Melvin’.

  34. Odins Acolyte says:

    The dead don’t care. It is an obligation to the living.
    Mow the grass. It is the job of the cemetery caretaker.
    If he won’t do it then fire him.

    1. Beez says:


  35. NY Keith says:

    It was the same a Pinelawn Military Cemetary in Long Island this weekend. Workers did not cut the grass.

  36. VogVoo says:

    OMgosh man get over it people.


    1. eric baxter says:

      Eat it.

  37. George O says:

    The owner’s rabbi, Herb Needleman, stated that the complaints are exagerated and people need to be more patient. “The lawns will be mowed, but relatives of those buried in the cemetary need to contribute funds for future cleanup services.”

    1. Beez says:

      The owner’s rabbi sounds like he doesn’t understand simple contractual obligation. If you can’t afford to offer perpetual care contracts, you shouldn’t be in the cemetery business.

      If the owner would like to file bankruptcy and officially get out from underneath the obligation, he may attempt to do so – but he gets no free pass.

  38. eric baxter says:

    Can’t we all just love one another right now??

    1. Schnurri says:

      That sounds like a good line for a song.

  39. YourMother says:

    Quit feeding the trolls.

    1. Beez says:

      I would love to think that most of these inane comments are from people who are merely trolling – but unfortunately, many people actually think this way.

      Besides, I’m convinced Obama was merely trolling when he began his campaign – but THEN look what happened. So even trolling has to be answered.

  40. Shari Owens says:

    Why would it take so long to find their burial place? Have they never visited it before yesterday? It’s a luxury crisis to complain about overgrown grass. Go 3 times a year and clean up your loved ones area!

    1. eric baxter says:

      Yeah, Shari– when was the lst time your fat ass moved the lawn at a cemetary, huh?

  41. Kathryn Vowell says:

    Did you know that Memorial Day was originally created so that family and friends could clean, mow and spruce up around the graves of our military. We used to do more than just grill burgers…………we actually ACTED on our respect for our fallen heroes.

    1. 2sister says:

      The problem is probably that now there are so much legal issues. What if the cemetery doesn’t what just any private citizen mowing on their property? This isn’t a church cemetery or family cemetery. This cemetery is on private property and has an owner who is supposed to be taking care of it.

      1. 2sister says:

        Oops. I meant to say “want just any private citizen.”

    2. eric baxter says:

      It sounds like you’re having a Vowell movement.

  42. Oren says:

    If it’s so bad, bring some equipment and fix the problem for about a week. Then complain over and over as if somebody else fixes everything in this world

    1. 2sister says:

      The cemetery has or should have the proper equipment and people to do the job. The private citizen who has loved ones buried there might not and should not be expected to have the equipment. Also, since it is private property, I doubt just anybody is allowed to mow it.

  43. Anonymous age 69 says:

    My family ancestors back to the 1890’s are buried in the Midwest. When I lived there, I tried to go to the cemetery two or three days before the Memorial Day, and do a final clean up on the graves. They were well mowed, but no one can clean a grave like a family member with lots of time.

    Now, I live around 1800 miles south, and may not ever see those graves again. The rare time I do go back, there simply is no time alloted to visit graves.

    The traditional American way, apparently long gone, is when there is a problem, the people get going, and take care of it. Now, two things happen. People sit and wait for the government (or whoever they believe is responsible) to do it, and then whine if it isn’t done, and tell everyone what fine people they are for harassing those responsible.

    The other thing that happens is there will always be people who do try to do it themselves, instead of sitting on their fat rear ends waiting for someone else to do it. And, when they try to do it themselves, the authorities poke a gun in their nose and threaten them with death. I will never forget that photo of the Cedar Rapids police threatening to shoot a man after their big flood, because he was trying to go to his house to save it.

    The American experiment is over.

    1. 2sister says:

      Maybe some of these people aren’t physically able to take care of there loved ones graves. Also, the cemetery is private property. Therefore, there are probably limits on what people can do about their loved ones’ graves. They can go and change flowers and pull up a few weeds in front of the grave, and that might be about all they can legally do. It sounds like the problem with the cemetery in the article is that it needs to be mowed. I seriously doubt the cemetery wants everyone to just come on to their property and start mowing.

  44. Detter says:

    I bet it is not a perpetual care, in which case it’s left up to the relatives.

    The news piece is lacking information. But what’s new with that, eh?

    Texas required PC after 2003. http://www.banking.state.tx.us/sa/pcc_info.htm

    Is it or isn’t it at this link http://www.banking.state.tx.us/supreglic_ent.asp

    It appears to be a non-perpetual care.

    I blame the media for stirring up dust that they can’t see thru themselves. Very poor article.

  45. Olivia says:

    Here is an addition to my previous post: A lot of people think they own the burial plots they have purchased. Not so. You have merely purchased the right to use it as a burial place in a cemetery whose land is owned by someone else. The landowners, in their contracts with plot purchasers, have in most cases, obligated themselves to perpetual maintenance. It is their legal duty because they own the land and have promised to do so.

  46. ric says:

    This cemetery is obligated to take care of these graves. They are certainly happy to charge families for the space and the opening & closing of the grave, but have a poor history of providing service. Mr. Strong has no shame though. He has been singled out for this and many other incidents of neglect throughout the years, yet, nothing changes.

  47. Mo says:

    there were no flags at the cemetery by our house…they have them every year…not this year though

  48. Bill Baker says:

    The folks with loved ones buried in this cemetery should obtain copies of the contracts between the cemetery and the estates or families of the people who are buried in the cemetery to see if the cemetery has a contractual obligation to maintain the burial plots of the deceased. If so, sue the cemetery and force them to maintain the grave sites. If not, see if there is are local, state, or Federal laws requiring the cemetery to maintain these burial sites.

  49. toacelp says:

    At least they still have grass. Fort Bliss Cemetary, in El Paso has taken all the grass out and replaced it with gravel.

  50. Bruce says:

    My dad and I visited Restland Cemetery yesterday to our pay respects to his
    parents, his wife, his sister-in-law, and his nephew. Every time my dad
    visits Restland — where he has owned plots since 1954 — he bemoans
    the unkept conditions of the gravesites. The markers are not level to the
    ground; grass has overgrown some of the markers; and some are covered by dirt. You’d think a large and respected cemetery such as Restland would get its
    act together.

  51. Schnurri says:

    In many cases the contract is between the deceased and the cemetery. How can deceased person sue or maintain their own grave?

    1. Beez says:

      Another good point. According to some posters here, I guess that grave site can simply be ignored.

  52. Rachel Jackson says:

    Jan Hyde is my aunt. It is my Grandmother and Grandfather that she was refering to. Not only are they buried out there but so is another grandfather, a couple Aunt’s, cousin’s, stepson, and many other friends and family. This is a disgrace and I am very proud of her for standing up for what is right. She didn’t care what anyone thought of her, she was proud to get up and speak for all of those who can no longer speak for themselves. It is absolutley a shame how our beloved loved one’s are treated. Just cause their earthly home is in the ground and the heavenly home is far from here. That gives no one any right to just say to hell with it and let it go. Way to go Jan, I am very proud of you. May God Bless all the loved one’s of those who have family and friend’s that have passed and are buried at Southland in Grand Prairie., and for all of those who have lost a true Hero!
    I love you Papa “Glen Greenwood”!

  53. George O says:

    Herb Needelman, the cemetery owners rabbi, has asked for patience and understanding regarding conditions in the graveyard. “To help the cleanup effort, please contribute funds to me and I will see to it that they are put to good use.” He stated that part of the problem is due to a cut off of chariity funds previously received from the Madoff Foundation. “We’re all trying to get along with less these days so that it will be necessary for others provide funds to fill the gap.”

    1. Beez says:

      Too bad. File bankruptcy. (Please contribute funds to me, yeah, right. I wonder who will fall for that.)

  54. taosuntzu says:

    so cut it already if your panties are in sucha bunch – all this blah,blah,blah about “honoring” our fallen heroes – why not honor them by taking it upon yourself to SHOW your appreciation by forming a citizen group that puts your words into action. rather than just whine and complain why not set an example of citizens who really back-up all this talk about giving the fallen vets recognition by doing something more than waving a flag at the beach?

    1. Beez says:

      You are assuming that people here don’t already DO this. I’ve previously been guilty of making assumptions too – but you have convinced me to STOP assuming that people like you are even remotely informed.

  55. Frank says:

    Its a shame that it actually took Memorial Day for people to realize that the grass was uncut or that it takes a national holiday for this to even be addressed. Why wasn’t this griping occurring on any other day of the year?

    1. Beez says:

      It WAS. It just didn’t get media coverage. Try again.

  56. chris says:

    Im sure the dead are just up in arms about the unfair treatment their headstone and cemetary has received. God forbid any Aid go to anyone who is still alive while our home values are down and our stattes revenue sources are drying up. You “wannabe” patriots make me sick. Are you really getting this mad about the grass not being mowed ? I thought most texans come from the party of personal responsibility. why dont you get out there and mow your own fathers or grandfathers headstone. This is where personal responsibility is going to take us

    1. Beez says:

      This isn’t about the dead, you tool, this is about the living. Why are home values going down? Breaches of contracts causing foreclosures, in many cases. Properties not being cared for, in many cases. No wonder the country is in a shambles, when people like you are perfectly willing to defend the people who welch on their agreements and let properties become unkempt and run down. You don’t appear to know a THING about personal responsibility, if your “going in position” is to support deadbeats who don’t live up to their contractual obligations.

  57. Z-A says:

    I love how all these Texas morons want less government until it affects them. Cuttin’ the grass costs taxpayer dollars, even if they are illegal Mexicans! Yeeehaw!! Cut that Medicare…unless I’m sick! Keep them trailers out of my city…unless my house gets deeestroyed by a tornado! Cut that there unemployment subsidy…unless I git fired! Yeeehaw!!!

    1. Beez says:

      This is a privately run cemetery, and these are contractually obligated services that are not being performed. Your anti-Texas screed is both irrelevant and illustrative of how little you know about the workings of capitalism.

      1. tednugent says:

        Its privately owned civic cementery. Its behind in maintenance, we have had torrential rain last week. Shame on the owner..but,
        I see your ignorance duped you into making it a governmental budget issue. Are you a Democrat or just Union? Ok, So what division of the US govt mows privately owned lawns?

  58. stan van tiem says:

    Why aren’t the families taking care of their loved ones. Cemetaries can only do so much.

    I’m going to Michigan to clean up my famiiles graves from SC.

  59. Ryan Mouk says:

    Its nice to see that we still hold respect for our Honored Soldiers. Glad to see that the owner of the graveyard found it in his heart to mow the grass of our heroes after a few weeks of complaints. Useless.

  60. JC says:

    It’s horrible for sure, but please don’t act so offended that it took over an hour to find a marker. It is the owners fault for neglecting the grass, but it sounds like there is some neglect on the visitor’s part, too. Have you even been there in the last year? Did you see the grass getting taller? Oh, never mind … you didn’t even know where it was.

  61. Chesty P says:

    Those of us who served in the military—especially dating back to Vietnam—know better than to expect anything positive from our country, sad to say. Positive things do happen, don’t get me wrong, but many of us retain a bitter taste of how Vietnam vets were treated in one of the worst decades this country ever saw (the 60s). So while this sorry treatment is outrageous on its face, it’s also kind of a “so what?” from the vets who are used to national disrespect. We fought for each other more than anybody else…

  62. Roger J says:

    Two generations from now, after years of progressive K-12 indoctrination, and the weeds have long covered the graves of those who put their lives on the line so that all Americans can live free from the burdens of an oppressive government, it will be up to those who remember the brave founders of this once great nation to rise up and overthrow their oppressors, to re-claim their birthright and establiish a new government that guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the meantime, I will try to find a local veteran’s cemetary where I can do a little weed-eatin’ on weekends.

  63. Maddmomma says:

    It’ not just overgrown grass. It’s everything, tree branches hanging in the drive, bushes and shrubs overgrown. Some areas are mowed poorly and some sections not at all. It’s shameful and disgraceful. It would take a large crew several weeks to make it look right. I hope the owner can’t sleep at night.

  64. Cheryl Wilcox, Arlington, TX says:

    I too have been to this cemetery many times taking pictures of markers for family members that live too far away and it is definiately heartbreaking to find a flat marker buried at least 2″ down. I was afraid to raise it up, but I did pull the grass and weeds and clear the dirt off of the center so that someone might see there was a marker there. It is sad to know that many of these markers will be lost forever because of them sinking in the ground and no one cares enough to raise them. There is not just a few markers buried here, there is 100’s!!!

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