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Cemetery not playground

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Sid Williams is our Letter Writer of the Month for May. The following letter was the first he has ever submitted to a newspaper. He says he received several positive comments and hopes to submit others.

"What I wrote, I wrote because I have a passion for it," he says. "I hope it touches people who don't realize the feelings people have in cemeteries."

Memorial Day is coming next week. Are you the way I used to be? My mother used to take me to the cemetery when I was young, but I just wanted to play or go do something fun. I would soon be playing around the headstones until it was time to go. Cemeteries always seemed a place to play.

But all of that changed two years ago. One of my daughters, who was 8 years old, was hit by a car and died. I go to the cemetery with a different perspective now. It feels like sacred ground. Many times I have the urge to remove my shoes.

It irritates me to see kids playing around headstones but angers me to see adults who don't respect their sacredness. I was furious when someone stole flowers we put at her headstone.

Please remember as you go to the cemetery that this is the final resting place for so many loved ones. Treat it with respect, and teach your children to treat it with respect. Please don't be the way I was.

Sid Williams


Tuesday, May 20, 2003