Residents upset after items left on graves thrown in trash - WNEM TV 5

Residents upset after items left on graves thrown in trash

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Mid-Michigan residents are furious after decorations left on their loved ones' graves were removed with no warning.

Things like flowers and statues, once placed in memory of those lost, were thrown in the dumpster to be hauled away.

"They just took it off and threw them in piles," said Candy Kuzmik, Pinconning resident. "It's so disrespectful that all of our stuff that is meaningful to us has been tossed in a dumpster like it's trash."

For years Kuzmik has been carefully decorating and caring for the family plot. Her grandparents and aunt rest at the Garfield Township cemetery. Kuzmik had to take the statues from the dumpster area and put them back on the graves.

She visits at least once a week, many times bringing her two young sons along.

Laurie Jones was also shocked to see the grave items placed by the garbage bin. One of them was a bracelet placed at the foot of an infant's grave.

"To just throw it in a pile like that, they didn't really tell anybody," Jones said.

The township clerk is in charge of the cemetery and her husband is the caretaker. TV5 called the clerk to ask the tough questions, but there was no answer.

However, a notice was posted at the township hall that said all items placed on graves must be removed by April 15 because the items interfere with mowing. If the items are not taken away they will be tossed in the trash.

The notice said only American flags will be allowed on the plots.

Kuzmik and Jones said the notice wasn't there on Thursday. The notice also was not posted at the cemetery.

Kuzmik said decorations have been allowed on the graves for upwards of 30 years.

"How you going to just throw it away and let somebody else take it, not knowing what it means to them," she said.

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