Families Argue SI Cemetery’s Decorations Policy Is Dead Wrong
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Emotions are running high over a policy at a Staten Island cemetery on this Christmas Eve.
As CBS 2′s Scott Rapoport said the issue boils down to whether some decorations put up signify an act of love or simply a violation of the rules.
Every year at Christmas time, Fred DeLise and his relatives come to visit his beloved parents’ grave sites at the Moravian Cemetery on Staten Island.
They adorn the walls of their mausoleum with festive Christmas decorations like a homemade star and a card to honor them.
But this year, the walls of the mausoleum are bare.
“It’s an upsetting thing. Especially this time of the year. It’s Christmas, man,” said DeLise.
DeLise said the cemetery took his mementos down without telling him just two days before Christmas.
“This is the last way that you can do something for your deceased loved ones. And now they’ve taken that away,” he told Rapoport.
Ann Marino said it happened at her husband’s mausoleum as well.
“I had put a wreath there about a week ago. And then when I came back the next day, it was gone,” she said.
DeLise and some other families say it has to do with the new policy at the cemetery for families with loved ones in mausoleums.
Under the new crypt and niche vase use and floral program, the cemetery charges $175 for the installation and maintenance of a vase and then another $175 for them to put artificial flowers in it four times a year.
DeLise said he received a letter about it about a month ago.
“It’s just not right. Charging you to do something that you would do out of love. It’s ridiculous,” he told Rapoport.
The cemetery’s management refused to comment on the new policy.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories