It is with affliction that we apprehend Ron Petak’s calumniating animadversion about the Bellevue Cemetery Committee, adept banderole holders and grave armpit decorations (Making the Grade, Oct. 11). We achievement the afterward comments will be advisory and win his connected abutment of our efforts to advance and advance the Bellevue Cemetery.
Understand that the Sarpy County Board funds the banderole holders and the Sarpy County Veterans Services Appointment distributes them. Both agencies absolutely apprehend the holders to fly U.S. flags at the grave sites of veterans.
The Burghal of Bellevue owns the cemetery — it writes the rules. The accessible is arrive to use the cemetery if those rules are followed. Yet, Parks Superintendent Brian Madison affidavit that Bellevue is accordingly a “public” cemetery, and the accessible is chargeless to adjudge what is allowed. Using that logic, in October 2016, he acceptable added than U.S. flags to be installed in adept banderole holders.
Mr. Madison’s activity was acutely in abuse of Bellevue’s cemetery adjustment that directs U.S. flags to be aureate in adept banderole holders. We catechism his ascendancy to adapt the regulation. Mr. Madison is not a activity maker — his job is to chase the rules accustomed by the burghal council.
Also understand, the Department of Veterans Affairs uses two designations back apropos to cemeteries — private, and those adjourned by the federal government. Although we use the appellation “municipal,” the VA considers Bellevue a clandestine cemetery. Our cemetery is absolutely adjourned by the burghal with accustomed administration and rules. The cemetery is accessible for accessible use and the rules are accepted to be followed.
On Oct. 2, afterward 12 months of accord and altercation with no acceding by Mr. Madison, we recommended to the Sarpy County VA Appointment that they accede endlessly the administration of banderole holders to the Bellevue Cemetery until the burghal provided assurances of antidotal action.
After arising warnings by that office, Sarpy County Veterans Services Appointment Director Tom Minarik advises that he will now accompany with Sarpy County commissioners a abeyance of banderole holders to the Bellevue Cemetery.
As it stands, there is no abode in the Bellevue Cemetery for flags from Mexico, Cuba, or a Confederate stars and bars. We see no accommodation on this issue.
Also advertence Mr. Petak’s animadversion that he doesn’t “understand the accessory about what bodies placed at a admired one’s grave. I don’t apperceive what’s in a person’s heart, and I ‘m not activity to be the one to acquaint addition what is and isn’t right.”
I allure him to analyze our accumulating of cemetery photographs of beer bottles, beer cans, abandoned balloons, a archetypal agent and several added such altar (Viewable by calling Allen Holley at 402-291-9345.) We accept 18 examples of appreciative American flags in assorted stages of deterioration. In beforehand letters we accept featured shoes in trees, wine bottles, blimp animals, statues, toys, photographs, pinwheels, cardboard articles and a tin-man blind in the oak tree. The salt-lick for deer was eventually removed. All of these items are accountable to wind and rain and adulterate bound to the point of removal.
The Burghal Board accustomed the cemetery adjustment that spells out what is and what isn’t authorized.
Unless parks agents promptly removes crooked decorations, added visitors will archetype those aforementioned decorations. If bodies were accustomed to accept any adornment they wished, the cemetery would be an complete blend — a absolute carnival. We apperceive that from experience.
In contempo months the cemetery board has presented abounding issues address on tradition, safety, aesthetics and absolute cemetery rules. Specifically, we accept addressed the website, alarming walkways, grave armpit maps, toilet enclosures, pergoda benches, drop garden, crooked decorations, signs and abundant added items.
As a advance board for the accomplished 13 years we accept been affectionate in our efforts to represent the council, citizens and our veterans.
We achievement a analysis of these comments and a abutting attending at the our photographs will amuse Mr. Petak’s concern and admission a bigger compassionate of why we accept to chase cemetery rules.
— Allen K. Holley is a affiliate of the Bellevue Cemetery Committee.
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