Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 13, 2014

It would be nice to have access to grave sites of loved ones

Memorial Day is right around the corner. Many people will be gathering flowers and decorations for their loved ones that have passed on. It is a time of respect, honor, and remembrance. 
My family has loved ones in many of the area graveyards and we try to get to each one to decorate the graves. Some graveyards we mow, rake, and clear debris. A few of these graves we have difficulty getting to because there are locked gates blocking the “right of way.” 
By law the “right of way” cannot be blocked, if there is a gate it is to be unlocked. We tried recently to get to the graves at “Warnick’s.” There was a gate and it was locked. I do not know the key holder or where to find them. 
We also know of people from out of town that do not know how to obtain a key but would like to visit their own property that is located beyond that gate, they also have family buried there. 
We were also disappointed to find that pine trees had been planted on and near the graves. Some of the graves in the cemetery are dated in the 1800’s the roots from these trees will destroy the graves. 
The area of “Warnick’s” located in Barnum, W.Va., was, once the railroad had moved out, supposed to have been turned into a driving pathway to the graveyard and the distance beyond to be a walking/biking trail.  
There is another site near there that is also locked we believe it is owned by a hunting club. Anyone know where to get a key? 
We call the cemetery Abernathy/Lancaster cemetery. We have heard many complaints about this issue of locked gates. It is just a shame that some can get away with blocking access to these cemeteries. 
It would be nice to be able to honor our loved ones without all the hassle.
James Abernathy
Keyser, W.Va.

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