Greenwich Cemetery Forces Couple To Remove Their Son’s Iron Heart Memorial
(I want to begin this article by stating that this is my own opinion and not necessarily that of WGNA or anyone who works with me. Merely the angry ramblings of Sean McMaster . I do not know the couple in the story or anyone involved with the Cemetary Association)
I saw this story tonight on WNYT's news and I have to say I am beside myself with anger towards the Greenwich Cemetery Association and sadness for this poor couple.
In 1982 Paul and "Bea" Perkins lost their 9 and a half month old son to heart failure. Their son David was buried at the Greenwich Cemetery and at the time they could not afford a headstone for his grave. After some years they made an iron heart and placed at his grave as a memorial for their son.
This heart remained for 14 years and at one point after it was lost and found by the cemetery, the cemetery even told Paul Perkins Sr. should pour concrete when he replaced it so it would not be lost or taken again. He did.
A few weeks ago the Perkins's received a letter from Greenwich Cemetery Association President Roland Mann stating they they had 30 days to remove the heart as it did not meet the requirements of the cemetery's by laws on grave markers. (It seems these by laws would prefer standard granite headstones.)
So Paul had to go and remover the heart which they have now placed in their own yard at home. He told WNYT, "Do you know how hard it was to come up here to dig that up?" he asked, choking back tears. "We're not out here to pick on anybody in the cemetery… I'd like answers as to why we were picked out of everything to have that thing removed."
I know I for one, could not even imagine.
For 14 years they had gone to visit their son's grave, they would decorate the heart and no one had ever bothered them about it. I can only imagine that that iron heart in a way, became an actual representation of their son. It meant more than the world to them and a sacred memory.
SACRED! that is the word. How dare this association! If this is a problem for you , if you perhaps are worried that more and more people would want to create their own memorial for their loved ones and make the cemetery less attractive to those who would visit or bury their own loved ones there, I can understand that. But you "GRANDFATHER" these poor people in.
How dare you ask this man and his wife to literally and figuratively, RIP THEIR HEART OUT! Shame, and do it in a certified letter?? This is their SON, not a car payment. SHAME SHAME SHAME!
The only thing that would make this story worse, make it even more suspect, is if the Cemetery Association President was also the owner of "Greenwich Family Memorials" and perhaps would have reason to make sure that they do not lose business to those who may want to find an alternative way of marking the graves of their loved ones.