Memorabilia Removed From Newington Cemetery Gravesites

People visiting their loved ones at a West Meadows Cemetery in Newington are outraged as to why some of their memorabilia was found laying outside in the back of the cemetery’s operations building.

Some want to know why the cemetery is removing the items.

Patty Fink said she noticed some items were missing from her father’s grave during Memorial Day weekend and in the last three years she’s been visiting her father nothing has ever been touched.

"I thought it had been stolen. I didn’t think that they took it. I came today to report things stolen from his grave,” said Fink, of Southington.

The items were taken from gravesites and placed outside in the back of the operations building at the cemetery, along with dozens of angels, flowers and wreaths.

While not all memorabilia was removed, it's unclear why some items remain.

While, Fink said cemetery officials never made her aware that items were going to be removed from gravesites, a sign posted at the cemetery stated cemetery clean up begins Mar. 15 and to remove decorations.

Fink said no matter the reason, it shouldn’t be up to the cemetery to remove memorabilia that are so personal.

“If they only called me, I would have come and removed this,” said Fink who collected a wreath, but was still missing a flower pot.

“I’m hurt, I’m very, very hurt it’s very personal and I mean it’s an invasion, this is a memoriam to my father and it’s not right.”

Cemetery workers told Fink she could pick up her removed belongings from behind the cemetery’s operations building.

Cemetery maintenance crews told NBC Connecticut off-camera the items were removed because it was hard to mow around them.

"It appears there was a breakdown in communication between the cemetery operations and the families buried there," said Newington Mayor Roy Zartarian.

"We are working to address the issue to improve the communication and the council will be looking at the ordinance governing what may be placed on graves and at what point during the year."

NBC Connecticut reached out to cemetery administrators and Newington’s superintendent of parks and recreation multiple times. 

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