Folks upset with condition of Cumberland County cemetery

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CARLISLE, Pa. -- Some folks are upset about the condition of a Cumberland County cemetery. Many of the graves at the Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens are completely or partially covered, making them tough to find.

For the past several years, every single time Georgia Motter visits her relatives' graves at the cemetery, she said the grave markers are a mess. The grass is literally growing over them, and her's aren't the only ones.

The Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens has been home to hundreds of graves since 1957.

"Years ago this was a beautiful cemetery. but this cemetery hasn't been taken care of in a long time," Georgia Motter, said.

Several of Motter's relatives are buried at the Cemetery. Last week she visited her husband's grave and it was barely recognizable.

"The grass was really high," Motter said. "I took into consideration all of the rain we've had. My husband's marker was almost entirely covered. Took me quite a while to find it."

She then got on her hands and knees and cleaned it up. A couple of days later, she came back to bring flowers and there was grass all over it again. Her grandparents' grave markers looked even worse.

"There's a lot of them in there that you can't read the names, you're not even sure there's a marker there, you just see an indentation in the ground," Motter said.

The Cemetery's corporate office sent us the following statement:

"Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens' mission is to help families memorialize every life with dignity, including providing and maintaining a tranquil and beautiful place for memorialization. In this instance, we have fallen short of our standards. We take this matter very seriously. The concerns raised are being addressed and we want to reassure our families and the local community that we are committed to serving them and their loved ones."

Motter said she just wants to be able to bring flowers to her husband's grave, instead of her gardening tools.

"Ya know, at least clean up what's there. I'd like them to look like they're suppose to look. I paid a lot of money for my husband's marker. And it has pictures on there and him driving his tractor that I can't even see," Motter said.

There is legislation in the works, which would establish a cemetery relief fund to help cemeteries keep up with maintenance. That Bill, House Bill 1435, sits in committee.

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