Mother feels like her son’s gravesite and other veterans’ headstones are being neglected

Local News

Cemetery says unauthorized decorations prevent proper maintenance

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Overgrown grass, weeds covering gravestones and memorials sunken into the ground. That is how a local mother said she found her son’s and several other gravesites at Green Lawn Cemetery.

“You couldn’t see any of these headstones; they were completely covered in weeds,” Margi Fritz said.

Besides weeds, the grass was overgrown more than a foot.

“I just got down on my hands and knees and started cleaning off Levi’s grave,” Fritz said.

Her son, Levi, served in the army for 6 years. He passed away less than a year ago and is now buried among other veterans.

“These people gave their lives up, some of them took their lives because of their service and they are not being honored,” Fritz said.

Randy Rogers, Executive Director of Green Lawn Cemetery Association said they mow every week, but when there are unauthorized decorations such as glass vases, pinwheels and wreaths, they can’t mow that area.

“It is a section we had some difficulties with people wanting to over decorate,” Rogers said.

Cemeteries fall under the Ohio Department of Commerce.

We reached out and found out that so far in 2019, there have been three complaints against the cemetery, one complaint in 2018 and six complaints in 2017.

“There’s occasionally going to be a problem with something as complex as Green Lawn Cemetery,” Rogers said.

Moving forward, Fritz said she plans to move her son’s grave because she says this wasn’t the first time she found it like this.

“That’s unacceptable, this is my firstborn son he deserves to be honored and be respected in his burial and they aren’t doing it here,” Fritz said.

A new management company took over in May and the cemetery’s executive director said it will take about a year to get it back into shape and they cleaned up the gravesites after they were notified.

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