Show respect for cemeteries

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2004

I may be wrong, but I could swear that cemeteries are not playgrounds. For years now Evergreen Cemetery has been used as a local playground. Several times over my 15 years in Juneau I have witnessed soccer games, and school classes at the cemetery, desecrating this burial ground.

This Halloween I witnessed two red trucks from a local construction company drop off loads of children to play in the Alaskan Memorial Park. When I approached to ask them what was going on, everyone ran for the trucks and took off before I could ask them any questions. So, I do not think they where visiting their grandmother's memorial.

We extend many protections to ancient burial sites, but treat Evergreen so poorly. Why is that? Alaskan Memorial Park at least has a caretaker there to assure the dignity of their charges. Cope Park is not too far away from Evergreen, and the elementary school actually has a playground. So, there is no justification for this disrespect of family memorials. For a few years I worked for Alaskan Memorial Park Mortuary, and the whole time I worked there I always treated everyone the way I would want my family treated, with respect and dignity.

To be honest, I have not seen any school classes at Evergreen for at least five years now, possibly because I no longer live in the neighborhood, or because the school district has kept classes away. But, the reason I write this letter is because the Empire decided to post a photo of a snowboarder in Evergreen Cemetery. That was poor judgment on the part of the editorial staff, and the youth involved. I hope in the future all parties consider the feelings and emotions of the families who have loved ones interred there and show a little more respect.

Leonard Robertson


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