Parents’ Sight of Cemetery Construction Prompts New Policy

One family's outrage at how construction crews are handling grave sites has spurred policy changes at the Riverside cemetery.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jacob Rascon
    Members of the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice were honored by volunteers who placed an American flag on each of the 200,000 graves at the Riverside National Cemetery ahead of Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013.

    Photos of construction workers driving over the grave markers of fallen military personnel have garnered national exposure, and the Southern California cemetery is responding by implementing a new policy.

    Big Bear residents Laura and Joe Landaker captured the photos on Feb. 7, the seventh anniversary of their son’s death. Marine Lt. Jared Landaker was one of the Morphine 1-2 crewmembers who died in Iraq in 2007.

    His body was laid to rest at the Riverside National cemetery two weeks later, according to the Seven Stars Foundation.

    Laura Landaker took to her Facebook page to express the "sad sight" saying, "Each one of those precious markers represents a loved one and their last resting place and they deserved more. Where is the respect that we should show them each day?"

    The Landakers contacted cemetery officials and demanded that the construction workers be more respectful and careful during the extensive renovation.

    The cemetery, dedicated to the internment of U.S. military personnel, has responded by implementing a new policy.

    Construction crews are required to keep vehicles off the grave markers.

    "Our job first and foremost is not to cause any more pain that has been caused by the death of the loved one," said cemetery official Jim Ruester.

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