Hamden Cemetery in Disrepair

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    NBC Connecticut

    Instead of flowers and flags, there are overgrown weeds, littered snack-food wrappers and garbage resting over toppled headstones of Civil War veterans in a local cemetery in Hamden. Residents who live near the cemetery are upset over the conditions and it's unclear who is to blame.

    The name of the cemetery is not known. There is no sign out in front, but when you do go in the entrance what you do see is downright disrespectful.

    "The dead deserve better," said Scott Howland, who feels those buried deserve not to have their names covered with garbage leaves and dirt.

    "It's really going to take a community effort to go over there and get it to a state of good repair."

    But some community members are trying to figure out where to turn. The Hamden Veterans Commission says the state doesn't own it; neither does the town. Someone does but it's unclear who.

    "I wanted to bring a group of kids there on a Saturday to clean up and I was told don't do it," said Elissa Lupi, a member of the veterans' commission in Hamden and a formal social studies teacher at Hamden Middle School.

    If she did bring students there it's unknown who would be responsible if someone got hurt.

    "It's very old and it needs to become a viable cemetery," Lupi said.

    It's even gotten to the point where Howland says the grave of one family's loved one wasn't touched for an entire year. They are graves that are going to need more than just a thorough cleaning, but perpetual care.

    "It's better than it has been and other concerned citizens have gone through," Howland added. "I have a lot of military in my family and I can't imagine."

    The Rotary Club has tried to beautify the place as well.  Mayor Scott Jackson could not be reached for comment.