A Mahoning Valley man said on Monday he will donate a family burial plot to the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose family is unable to find a cemetery that will agree to bury him.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he will donate the burial plot at Crown Hill Burial Park in Vienna because it’s “the Christian thing to do,” the man said.
Massachusetts cemeteries, and others across the country, have so far refused to bury Tsarnaev, who remains at a funeral home in Worcester, Mass.
Worcester funeral director Peter Stefan said he has been unable to find a cemetery in Massachusetts willing to accept Tsarnaev’s remains. Tsarnaev was killed following a gunbattle with police four days after the bombings.
Stefan said if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials. Stefan said Monday he is looking outside of Massachusetts and does not think Russia will take the body.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday the question of what to do with the body is a “family issue” that should not be decided by the state or federal government. He said family members had “options” and he hoped they would make a decision soon.
He declined to say whether he thought it would be appropriate for the body to be buried in Massachusetts.
The local plot donor, however, said he believes Tsarnaev deserves to be buried.
“The man has done all he can. He can’t hurt anyone else,” the man said. “It’s time to show some Christian concern for his family.”
The owner of Crown Hill said there are no rules or regulations giving him the power to stop someone from donating their plot.
“It’s the right thing to do, to let this man be buried,” the plot donor said. “Let his family put him away.”
The donor, a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, said his decision was driven by his faith. He said he was saddened by the bombing in Boston that left three dead and injured more than 260 others near the marathon finish line.
“The acts that were carried out in Boston were heinous,” the donor said. “I have prayed for those victims. I have prayed for the families of those who have lost loved ones and I will continue to do that. But it’s still the right thing to do to have this man (interred) somewhere and move on.”
AMVETS Post 290 in Vienna puts flags on graves of more than 1,000 veterans buried in Crown Hill, and they said there is no way they’ll let a terrorist lie along men and women who fought and died for our freedom.
“Put him with Bin Laden, put him wherever he’s at, we don’t want him on this soil,” said Post Commander John Jones.
Veterans said the dead body would continue to do damage if it’s allowed to be buried in Vienna.
“They would have to put a 24 hour guard on that burial plot cause we’d dig him up,” said veteran Larry Marsh.
Protestors continue to demonstrate outside the Worcester funeral home while police stand guard. Stefan said ultimately Tsarnaev’s body must be buried somewhere.
“It’s an emotional problem, obviously. But after it settles down and people think about it, they do know that we have to bury somebody. That’s what this country does,” said Stefan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.