Comments from the Canyons: Cemetery needs our help

Lynn Moncus

‘Tis always good to note that our citizens can still come together when they feel that our traditions are being infringed upon. This past week was an example when a number of individuals appeared at the City Commission meeting to express their concern about the changes at Tucumcari Memorial Park Cemetery.

Many people follow the tradition of keeping flowers on the graves of their loved ones year-round and take great pains to see that they are tended and kept looking

cheerful. Dressing up the cemetery is a major project in their hearts, and they don’t like to be told that they can no longer continue that tradition.

Also, relatives, who come home for visits, often take flowers to the cemetery and expect them to stay there as long as possible. They don’t want to be told they can’t

even place them unless they are in town on specific days. Of course, anyone who places real plants and flowers on the graves is aware that they don’t last but a few days, but those who use artificial decorations know they can remain attractive almost indefinitely. They use them because they are long lasting.

Often, when any of us places those decorations, we pick the weeds, trim around the markers, and even can be seen working on other graves as we walk around.

Because not all stones have vases, many of us have learned to use pipes to hold the bouquets. The ground is so hard at most sites that we cannot begin to stick the stems into it. We don’t want the flowers to blow around, thus, we have become resourceful enough to drive pipes into the ground, and those pipes do not stick up far enough to be hit in the event mowing takes place.

To enter our cemetery and to see no decorations except on a few days out of the year is a depressing thought. Such a sight makes us feel that no one cares enough to provide that beauty that lifts some of our depression. We want visitors from other areas to know we still have our traditions and that we still follow them.

When we are no longer allowed to follow those traditions because someone doesn’t appreciate them, we are apt to become more than a little upset. Many still have enough of that pioneer spirit to fight for those traditions. We would like to have our local cemetery be as beautiful as the rural cemeteries which still have decorations throughout the year. That has been possible in the past and can still be possible in the present.