City of Andrews Restricting Certain Items at Gravesites

by Mary Lou Morga
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS - Wind-chimes, flower arraingments, and figurines. Those are items found at just about every tombstone, but city leaders in Andrews are saying not at their cemetery.

It's a change that's not sitting well with one particular dad.

"It takes a little bit of the heart that I have left; it takes it away from me."

Steve Flores lost his daughter last year.

For him, bringing gifts to her grave is a way of dealing with the pain.

"We can't hold them no more, but we can bring them little gifts, and they're going to take that away from us now," Flores said.

Now he will be forced to remove all of these things that he and his wife have taken to their daughter's grave.

"To us, this is why we live for. For our loved ones," Flores said.

But according to andrews officials, items make it very difficult for employees to do their job.

"The artifacts, flowers, they make it a shrine out here, they make it very difficult for us to keep the Cemetery clean and beautiful," County Commissioner Hiram Hubert, said.

Under cemetery rules, people may take live or artificial flowers to their loved ones, but they are only allowed in the vases attached to the tombstone.

Also, flowers will not be allowed in front or behind the monument.

Rules that according to County Commissioner Hiram Hubert have been in place for years.

"These rules and regulations have been in place for at least 10 years. It's nothing new," Hubert said.

Rules and regulations that he says will help keep people that visit the cemetery safe.

"It's getting to be summertime, there are snakes out here," Hubert said.

Andrews residents have until mid-April to remove all the things that are not in compliance with the cemetery's rules and regulations.

But if they don't.

"We'll probably come in and remove them," Hubert said.

"On my part, nothing is coming down," Flores said.

But according to this dad, that's something that he's just not ready to do.

"I'll put it right up, and they can fine me if they want to," Flores said.