Lakewood Memorial Gardens repairing headstones after families post on social media
Owners of a local cemetery are addressing the public after landscaping vehicles were driven across grave markers, damaging most of the cemetery.
Dozens of people came in and out of Lakewood Memorial Gardens, voicing their concerns on how their loved ones' graves have been treated.
Carl Hammontree was one of the many people who came by the cemetery to check on a family member’s grave.
He wanted to make sure his dad's headstone was not damaged, after his son told him about pictures he saw on Facebook, showing multiple graves surrounded by tire tracks.
"That's sacred ground over there," Hammontree said. "I mean, those people paid their debt to society, paid all that money to get buried, and who would want to be driven over by a back hoe?"
Hammontree says this isn't the first time this has happened. He says landscaper’s drover over his father’s grave a few years ago and scratched it.
Crews were out at the cemetery Monday afternoon fixing some of the damage.
Channel 3 reached out to Stonemor L.P, who owns Lakewood Memorial Gardens, about the issue.
A spokesperson did not want to go on camera, but provided the following statement:
"In some instances, we have fallen short. We are working to address the matters raised, and we want to reassure our families and the local community that we are committed to serving them and their loved ones."
"If they tore it up, it's their responsibility. I'm not asking for anyone to do anything out of their way. But if they gotta hire 20 people to do it, so be it,” Hammontree said.
This is the second time in a few months Channel 3 has reported on damage at a Stonemor L.P. property.
In January, workers caused damage at Lakewood Memorial Gardens East on Shallowford Road.
Hammontree hopes workers will have more respect for graves in the future.
"I think it should be priority. I don't think they should even bury a soul until what they get tore up fixed, because those people are paying a lot of money to be left alone,” Hammontree said.
The cemetery doesn’t have a timeline of when the repairs will be finished, but say they will continue to address the areas of damage until they are fixed.
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