Family: Webster cemetery rule rarely enforced leads to heartbreak

Tom and Bryan Truong are buried at the Forest Park East Cemetery
Tom and Bryan Truong will never be forgotten. You can see their family's love in their grave sites -- both filled with personal mementos.

"Something that might not be a value to them, but it's of value to somebody else in their heart and in their soul," said Ruby Truong, who is Tom's daughter and Bryan's sister.

Ruby Troung goes to the Forest Park East Cemetery in Webster every week, but this week, she found many of her memorial items gone. The cemetery had cleaned up.

Forest Park East says it warned grieving families about the clean-up, even putting up a sign at the cemetery. In fact, families there even signed paperwork, agreeing to specific memorial rules.

But, Troung says, the cemetery has never enforced the rules before. Now she and others are left reliving their pain.

"I hope nobody has to go through a pile of sorrow to find their things," she said.

Here is the full statement from Forest Park East:

    "We empathize with grieving families who wish to add personal items to the graves of their loved ones. However, our obligation to the public and to all families with loved ones interred at our cemetery requires us to maintain consistent standards of appearance and safety. Signage was placed at the cemetery June 29 giving notification that cleanup would take place the last week of July.

    Certain grave decorations may present safety hazards to our grounds workers and visitors to the park. Wooden, metal or plastic parts can easily become airborne and dangerous to workers and to visitors who may be on the grounds. An attractive and serene environment can best be attained through uniformity of appearance throughout the grounds, which includes limitations on decorations despite the tastefulness with which the items are displayed or the caring intentions of those who display them.

    For the safety of visitors to our park and our commitment to provide all families with a serene environment, we stand by the rules and regulations. Our regulations regarding decorations are included with all contract paperwork. Compliance with park regulations is a condition of every contract with our facility.

    We value our relationship with the families we serve and are committed to providing all families with a well-maintained environment for visitation and remembrance."
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