Loved ones upset over removal of gravesite memorials at Center Moriches cemetery

A Mastic Beach family is just one of a number of loved ones heartbroken and upset when they found that their gravesite memorials were removed by staff at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.

News 12 Staff

May 19, 2021, 2:12 AM

Updated 1,072 days ago

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A Mastic Beach family is just one of a number of loved ones heartbroken and upset when they found that their gravesite memorials were removed by staff at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.
Kaitlyn Germer and her fiancée just went through every parent's worst nightmare. In late March, their infant son Nicholas died after he was born 12 weeks premature.
Germer says when they went to visit the grave Tuesday the plaque they had left on his tombstone earlier this month was gone.
"To have to go to the cemetery and find out what I put there for him is in the trash, it wasn't fair," says Germer.
Germer says the small statue was taken without warning and was later found in a pile behind the facility along with dozens of other items.
According to cemetery officials, the items were removed to care for the lawn.
Graveyard Superintendent Steve Scerri says artificial decorations are not allowed on tombstones.
"These are the rules of the cemetery," says Scerri.
There is a sign at the entrance to remind visitors of the rule.
Scerri says the items were placed in a pile instead of the garbage as a favor to grieving families.
"We put it out, we spread it out so people could see and pick it up and take it home," says Scerri. "We didn't throw it out like a lot of the cemeteries put it in a dumpster and say, 'We threw it out.'"
Germer says she deserved to know the plague was being removed and wants the cemetery to consider changing its rules.
The superintendent says there's no way for those items to remain on the grounds while his workers mow and weed whack the lawn.
However, people are allowed to plant live flowers in front of the graves of their loved ones.


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