RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Riverside National Cemetery Director Dean Moline announced the cemetery’s holiday decorating policy.
The policy, according to Moline, is meant to establish a uniform standard of appearance by balancing the family’s desire to honor its loved one with the cemetery’s requirement to continue maintenance operations throughout the long holiday season.
“We understand that decorating the gravesite helps families to heal and ease their grief,” Moline said. “We want to allow that to occur, but within a framework that upholds the dignity of the cemetery.”
The cemetery’s holiday decorating policy will allow for the following: floral arrangements, wreaths, potted plants and trees no more than 20 inches in height. Potted plants and trees are allowed only if they are not permanent and are not decorated with breakable ornaments.
Further, these decorations are not permitted to be secured to the marker and should not obstruct a visitor’s ability to view the marker.
Due to the length of time that holiday decorations will be allowed, Dec. 1 to Jan. 15, Moline said that items will be removed from gravesites if they are withered, faded, unsightly, unsafe, offensive, encroach on adjacent gravesites or hinder cemetery operations.
Moline added that permanent plantings, statues, vigil lights and breakable items such as toys will not be allowed because they can be lost in the grass and could become projectiles if they are picked up by grounds maintenance equipment.
“We appreciate the public’s cooperation,” Moline said. “We believe this policy allows our families to acknowledge the holiday season, while enabling the staff to continue to maintain the cemetery as a national shrine.”