ELYRIA, Ohio — Memorial Day has major significance for Linda and Randy Brown of Elyria, so it was a huge disappointment for the couple, when staff at Brookdale Cemetery removed flowers from multiple family gravesites just a day before the holiday weekend.
Linda Brown said she delivered the flowers late last week, but when she and her husband returned to the cemetery over the weekend, they were stunned to discover the flowers had been collected and thrown out due to a scheduled May 27 clean-up day at Brookdale.
“I honor my mom and dad and it’s also my mom’s birthday, May 27," Linda Brown said, “And I do my grandparents and my Uncle Elden, who is military and was killed in action in World War II. We also honor the grave of the 'Coast Guard Lady,' her grave is located next to my mom and dad's and we found out she has no living relatives, nothing, so we do that out of respect for her service.”
"But all the flowers were gone, and oh I was so upset. I’m not trying to start an argument, and I don’t complain, but I am, this made me that mad. I’m sorry but it sucks, I think it was wrong.”
Randy Brown posted the incident on his Facebook pageand other Brookdale families said the same thing happened to them, their gravesite flowers were removed just a few days before the Memorial Day weekend.
“I was thinking, you know, why did they do it. I mean why did they take them down," Randy Brown said. “I just couldn’t understand it, why would they do it on Memorial Day. Think before you would do something like that, you know, use some common sense if you ask me, that’s all it takes is common sense.”
News 5 contacted the Elyria Mayor's Office and three members of Elyria City Council, including the Council President, who responded immediately. The Council President apologized to the families involved and pledged to work with the Elyria Cemetery Department in revising the clean-up schedule for next year to ensure this never happens again.
Meanwhile, Linda Brown had a final message for the City of Elyria.
“I understand cleaning cemeteries, I really do, once a month, but Memorial Day is at the end of the month and this is the one time that the date needs to be moved,” Brown said. “Redo this, just start thinking about people instead of a convenient date.”