PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. (KMTV) — Folks with loved ones at Oak Hill cemetery in Plattsmouth got an unpleasant surprise today.
Precious items they placed at the graves of family and friends removed, with absolutely no warning. They were thrown into a pile in a wooded area on the outskirts of the cemetery. Some of the breakable items, smashed into pieces.
"It's disrespectful, we have a military young man that gave his life, his stuff was removed...serving our country and they removed his,” says Deb Bailey, who’s mother is buried at the cemetery.
Tammy Gibson's son and niece have been laid to rest, next to each other since 2001, flanked by statues and other items placed in their memory.
Today Gibson found some of it in a pile, she can't find the rest.
Another item removed was a memorial bench that sat in its spot for well over a decade. The bench was actually made and put up by a man who used to run the cemetery.
"They've never, ever, moved the stuff and it's in the pile back there,” says Gibson.
The cemetery is owned by the city of Plattsmouth and city hall was closed by the time 3 News Now arrived at the cemetery. It's unclear why some items were removed from graves, while other graves still have decorations.
"Hit and miss, I mean it just looks like it's hit and miss,” says Gibson.
People could be seen going into the pile, picking up what they could find while knowing they'll never get some items back. Many of them now at least want an apology.
"Reimburse everybody and publicly apologize, and if they can't do that, they've got no scruples,” says Bailey.
For some of them, this is just another blow right after recovering from a historic flood.
"All it's doing is putting salt in the wound, the emotional wound you bear from your loved ones passing, all of the flooding all the other stuff that's going on, community's are trying to come together and they pull this crap,” says Bailey.