AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A group of people say they’re upset with the way the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has treated the flowers and pictures they’ve displayed on their loved ones’ burial sites.
Every day, from 11-11:30 a.m., you can find Leona Little at the crypt inside Resurrection Cemetery in Austintown.
“I don’t care how deep the snow is or how cold it is, I’m here,” Little said.
She brings her lawn chair — and a fan if it’s hot.
Her grandson Michael Fox is buried in the crypt. He died in a car accident in 2006.
Little says, for 10 years, she’s been hanging up artificial flowers. She’s aware of certain times of the year that flowers aren’t supposed to be displayed, but she says she’s never really had an issue until new management took over.
“They took them down,” Little said. “They threw the flowers and the pictures in a box in the garage.”
Michael Korda says he recently found his picture of him and his wife Mary on their wedding day in 1956 covered in mud, sitting in a box at the cemetery.
“This has been up there for three years,” Korda said. “Everyday. Seven days a week. I had it wired to the vase.”
“We had flowers up all year last year — spring, fall, Christmas,” he added. “This year, nothing.”
The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown says the artificial flowers are removed due to safety. The diocese says lawn mowers can pick up and shoot out the wire stems of the artificial flowers, which can be dangerous for visitors.
Artificial flowers are permitted from Nov. 1-March 1 and for certain holidays throughout the year.