Cemetery lawn crew puts flowers in the trash just one day after Mother’s Day

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THORNTOWN, Ind. – Just a day after Mother's Day, a lawn crew tossed flowers from graves in the trash.

CBS4 went to the Maple Lawn Cemetery in Thorntown and found a dumpster full of flowers. And the people who live there are fired up.

Families in the town discovered the lawn crew mowed the grass Monday. And if flowers on graves were in their way, they threw them away.

"They're dead. That's the only way we've got to let out some grief because of them. It makes me sick to my stomach. Makes me mad," Becky Harder said.

Becky Harder's parents, daughter, sister and husband are buried there. She says over the years she's always put flowers on their gravesite and never thought they'd be thrown away. But this time the cemetery association president says it’s because many families broke the rules and this was the consequence.

"They need to be on the gravestone or on the foundation. But if they're out in the grass area then the mowers have a problem mowing," Larry Truitt said.

The rule went into place back in 2012 according to the sign on the grounds. But even Mr. Truitt admits it hasn't always been enforced. And the timing here was just all bad.

"We shouldn't have mowed the day after Mother's Day and this probably would not have happened," Truitt said.

Becky says this was disrespectful to the deceased.

"These are our people, we pay to put them here, we pay for the tombstones, we even pay their wages to mow it and now they're gonna tell us we can't decorate the grave with a little four dollar little flower thing. That's just ridiculous," Becky said.

The president of the cemetery association tells CBS4 he talked to the lawn care company about their planning so this doesn’t happen again for Memorial Day. Flags are allowed at the cemetery but again, the rules will be enforced. Flowers and other decorations must be on the gravestone, not on the ground next to it.

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