NANUET, N.Y. (CBS 2) — How would you feel if you were told to remove all the personal items that you placed on a loved one’s grave?  That’s the dilemma facing some families in Nanuet.

Many grave sites in St. Anthony’s cemetery in Nanuet are adorned with personal mementos, pictures and symbols that mean as much to the living as they did to those who have passed on.

Under recently announced regulations, all items except perennial flowers are to be removed by Aug. 15th.  Anna Crispino spent the morning taking some items from her husband’s headstone.

“I just don’t feel this is right,” Crispino told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan, “my cousin feels the same way with her husband…today is 11 years that he’s gone and it’s a sad day.”

Marie Earley of New City says her children leave drawings on her father’s grave site.

“It helps them in the grieving process,” Earley said.

Many family members coming here to pay their respects are not aware of the regulations and are finding out by reading a sign posted at the entrance of the cemetery.

The spokesman for the Archdiocese, Joseph Zwilling, says the rules have always been in place, but not always followed.
Zwilling says the pastor and superintendent of the cemetery “decided the regulations should be followed…in order to preserve the sacred nature of the cemetery.”

But John Howard from West Nyack disagrees.

“I just think it’s wrong,” Howard said.

With the deadline quickly approaching, the Parish plans to inform families in the coming days to remove the banned items.

The parish says if families can’t make it to the cemetery in time for the deadline, their items will be stored until they can be picked up.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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