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Letter: Changing times at cemeteries

Some things are changing.

I went into my local hospital a while back to see a friend. When I asked at the desk what room he was in, they said he wasn't there. I was very frustrated because I knew he was there.

Due to new privacy laws, they could not tell me what room he was in or even that he was there. The reasoning is that they did not know if my friend wanted to see me or not. Rather than make an error by letting me see him when he did not want to see me, they did not let me see him at all.

When I was young we prayed in school. Now prayer is banned from school: not because someone complained, but because someone may be offended. These changes are, like most changes, hard to make, at first anyway. But we do need to take into account other people's concerns and rights.

Artificial flowers at cemeteries start to deteriorate as soon as they are put out. They start to lose their color and start to fall apart. As they fall apart, the wind blows them onto other people's graves. Most of them are not biodegradable, they do not fit in our "green" generation and they are hard for the groundskeeper to pick up.

Some people just do not like artificial flowers. They believe that artificial flowers distract from the natural beauty of headstones, well-groomed grass and trees. They are offended by someone else's artificial flowers blowing onto their family's graves. People also find artificial lighting (solar-powered "moon" lights) intrusive and offensive. The American flag should not be flown in the dark so they should not be left at cemeteries.

I believe a fair compromise is to allow artificial flowers and flags at cemeteries for 10 days, three days before Memorial Day and a week after Memorial Day. And allow visitors to leave any kind of flowers at graves at any time and then have them removed the next time the cemetery is mowed. This allows us to memorialize our family members and respect the rights of others.

Tom Rauenhorst