Hallowed ground, despicable humans


By Marianne Lincoln

Wednesday, when I arrived at the old Spanaway Cemetery, the group doing the cleanup was in the middle of an opening prayer. It was an honorable way to begin work among those who had passed. But as soon as the prayer ended, Boojee Bowman, President of the Spanaway Historical Society, took me aside and said, I need you to write a story.

She guided me across the lawn to the northwest corner of the cemetery. There, the problem wasn’t just overgrown grass and bushes. Humans, of the unwelcome kind, had disturbed multiple gravesites. Several days before, when the tractor was there to mow, this had not yet happened. It was likely within just the past few days. Huge monuments were tipped over and holes a couple feet deep were dug in front of a couple headstones. Wooden markers were placed over the foot of one grave marking someone’s deceased pets, buried on top of someone else’s resting site.

Boojee was scowling at the thought of the desecration. That grave is someone’s family member, a loved one. Who in the world would plant their dead cat in someone’s space that way? Grass was removed as well and wooden surrounds and a burn barrel was on site. The Sheriff had been notified and she was planning to do a report later that evening. She was also hoping that a Deputy would have the sensitivity to come out to witness the activity site in person. Just because we don’t have the manpower to care for this location regularly, doesn’t mean we don’t care about it. This Cemetery is our local history. These are our pioneer families.

Her first inclination was to cut down all the lilac bushes in that corner to give greater visibility from 176th Street as a deterrent. People passing by are welcome to notice and report any activity that is suspicious there. The housing development along the south side also has views from their second story windows. Please report anything suspicious you have seen to the Pierce County Sheriff. No one wants this to be an ongoing problem.

By then end of the day, the grass was nicely cut, artificial flowers and flags were placed around the many graves sites. The holes and tipped stones were left for the Sheriff to inspect. Otherwise, the place was amazing lovely in preparation for Memorial Day visitors. As for the despicable humans who perpetrated this travesty, please don’t come back.


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