I am writing some history on my Grand Uncle Irwin Jonas who gave his life shortly after D-Day. I do not have a picture of his tombstone and I hoped to grab one this past weekend. Let me tell you how disgusted I am with the condition of his tombstone! This is in the Richmond, Cache, Utah city cemetery.
Here is a picture from 2009 of his tombstone. Even the markings on the stone at that time show a complete disregard by the caretakers regarding driving over the stone and scratching it, very likely with their mower. Notice how the top right corner is chipped and I am willing to bet it is from the same activity that marked it. This grave stone was in good shape only a few years before this photo was taken and these were new markings at the time. Unfortunately I cannot find that circa 2004 photo at this time. Of course I complained to city offices.
It is quite apparent my complaint to the city offices fell on deaf ears. Here is a picture of the same grave in 2014!
Notice that the top of the stone is nearly all chipped away! It is bad enough that portions of the cross on his stone have also chipped away. Also, look at the nice king/bend in the American Legion marker on the top left of the picture. This shows a complete disregard for the property of another and a disrespect for the dead and their family for which the stone represents. This is a man who fought to protect Americans and died in France about a month after D-Day. He was not buried until February 1948, nearly four years after he died in battle. This is the grave of a veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Richmond is a fiduciary, a trustee, of these stones and must treat them with full respect and accord. I cannot imagine this is allowed in many other cities in Cache County, not from my personal experience in most of the other cemeteries. Somebody needs be held accountable for this damage.
I walked through the cemetery quickly in the space of about an hour and documented many more failures by Richmond in their care and maintenance of this grave. It extends beyond just markings and chipping of markers which I will document at another post. The members of the cemetery district should be held accountable. The City of Richmond should hold them accountable, the taxpayers in this cemetery district should hold them accountable, and someone should put together a class action lawsuit to pay for these damages. I would happily sign on. Does the City of Richmond not see what is going on in their own cemetery district? Inasmuch as the City of Richmond is condoning this activity, the mayor and council-members should also be held accountable. Not only should anyone responsible be voted out or removed from office, there should be personal liability for the damages. This is quite frankly disgusting. Shame on Richmond City.