Intact tombstones at an EGF dump have people concerned

GRAVE MARKER(Gillian Trudeau)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 3:14 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Alex Sethre was searching for rocks for his garden at a dumping site when he found something shocking.

“I walked up there and I was very surprised to see full, complete tombstones just sitting there out in the open,” said Sethre.

He said he saw about a dozen tombstones, some smashed and some intact.

So he went to Facebook to get some answers.

“People were very upset, people wanted to know what else was going on,” he said.

Robin Purcell, administrator for Grand Forks Cemetery Association said in a comment that people may want a new marker made for a number of reasons, like a different font to make it easier to read.

But Purcell says the main reason people throw a tombstone away is if an urn is being buried in a grave space that’s already occupied. He said they do not allow two markers at one grave so they typically create a new larger marker to fit two names on it.

“It was Memorial Day just a couple of weeks ago and I was visiting my relative’s graves and stuff like that and to see intact graves sitting in a dump, it really disheartened me,” said Sethre.

Sethre said he saw a World War 2 and Vietnam veteran tombstone and he said being a veteran himself, he felt it was disrespectful.

“They should be destroying them completely, instead of having family members or loved ones just sitting there literally in a dump,” said Sethre.

Purcell said the Cemetery Association takes a sledgehammer to unwanted markers and breaks them up into many pieces then they bring them to a recycling facility where they can be ground up and used for other purposes.

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