A veterans’ cemetery in Exeter, Rhode Island is apologizing after an embarrassing and disrespectful folly buried seven people under the wrong markers.
According to an Associated Press report, the graves were “off by a burial plot.”
“We recognize our cemetery is hallowed ground, and we did not meet our obligation to our veterans, their loved ones who are buried here or the families and the veterans who continue to come to our cemetery to pay their respects,” said Kasim Yarn, director for the memorial grounds.
More on how the error occurred, via the AP:
Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery workers left two spaces instead of one to transfer the remains of a veteran’s father in November 2010. The extra space wasn’t accounted for when permanent grave markers were added that spring. Consequently, 21 grave markers were off.
Seven interments occurred in that row since 2010, resulting in those cemetery vaults being buried in the adjacent plots.
The dead people and the markers were moved this past weekend. Families are being contacted.
Yarn said he was alerted to the issue on Thursday, after the grounds crew at the Exeter cemetery discovered the issue as it prepared for a burial in the row that day.
Cemetery management said they plan to implement a failsafe addendum to their burial process where a second worker would verify that the grave is indeed correct.
More than 34,000 veterans and family members are buried on the New England grounds.
As of this post’s publish date, no member of staff has been disciplined.