the editor: I am writing regarding the issue of the Cemetery Commission’s new rule. This rule states that in all of the Prineville cemeteries it will be prohibited to put any metal, glass, ceramic, wood or rock items on or around the gravesites. This new rule is effective March 20 and also states that no flowers may be planted in the cemeteries. The only flowers that will be allowed are those that are planted in the metal vases provided in the cement of the headstones. What I would like to know is why this commission has the right to tell the people that buy these grave sites for loved ones what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. When a loved one dies their families buy the plot, so why does this commission have the right to tell people what they can and can not do on property that they have purchased? Grieving mothers should have the right to put their dead child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy on their gravesite, if they so choose. My grandmother is in one of those cemeteries that now will not allow people to plant flowers anymore. No one was informed when this site was chosen that it was possible that at any given time the Cemetery Commission can tell us what is and is not “acceptable” to do for our loved ones. Does this commission know that flowers do not live long in metal vases that can not get ground water? I thought the whole point of a cemetery was to remember the deceased’s life, to visit and to pay last respects. But also to show how much the deceased is loved and missed by planting flowers and leaving behind objects that celebrate their life. I understand that these objects and the flowers planted in the ground interfere with the mowers and that is a big part in the commission’s decision. So if these objects that help us to move on and remember are in the way of the lawn mowers please by all means let’s leave all the graves empty and bare, with nothing but a headstone to signify the memories. Sheena Van Landuyt Prineville
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