Editorial: Respecting places of rest - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Editorial: Respecting places of rest

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Laying friends and family that have died to rest is an unfortunate, but inevitable event that comes with life. A life well-lived most often ends with a gathering of friends and family paying their last respects with stories and tears as they say their goodbyes. For some, a funeral is not the last goodbye and for many years to come, visiting a cemetery and the gravesite of a loved one is their way of reconnecting.

So how would you feel if you couldn’t find your loved one's resting place because the cemetery was overgrown with weeds? Or if their tombstone had been desecrated at the hands of vandals? Our own WBRC Investigators have reported on this issue. In Jefferson County alone, experts say there are over 400 cemeteries, most of them are closed or abandoned leading to such disarray and opportunities for vandalism.

Currently, there is no board in Jefferson County to oversee or enforce maintenance, quality of grounds, etc. for all area for-profit cemeteries. A bill, HB 34, that recently passed in the Alabama House would change that. This bill, which I support, if signed into law would create a seven-member board with appropriated funding to set and enforce the standards for area cemeteries.

It’s time to raise the bar on the resting places of all deceased Alabamians and give them the respect they deserve. We now encourage the Alabama Senate to support and pass this bill.

If you would like to respond to this editorial, email editorials@wbrc.com, write to:

P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, Alabama 35201

Or call (205) 583-4328.

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