Treatment for veterans’ graves is wrong

What council has done to the old war graves is wrong, wrong, wrong!

In response to a report published online by The Recorder on July 25 – ‘New life for war graves’ – how can council have paid tribute to the region’s war veterans by removing the headstones from their graves?

To say that the individual headstones had ‘deteriorated significantly’ is a gross exaggeration, and to also say that the installation of long concrete beams ‘boosts the appearance of the area’, is a joke. 

Traditionally, a headstone should be at the head of the grave, not at the foot.

Due to what has happened to the old war graves, half the graves are now without headstones, with their plaques now at the foot of the graves.

Did the persons who decided to replace the small neat headstones with long ugly rails of concrete, in a peaceful expanse of lawn, stop to consider what this change would mean to the families of those valiant service people who gave service for their country?

My wife and I travelled from Adelaide to Port Pirie on July 23, 2017, to visit my parents’ war grave site, and found some difficulty in locating their grave in the war service section, as there is no longer a headstone to mark their grave, just an ugly long rail of concrete.

This concrete rail is at the foot of their grave, so their grave no longer has a headstone, but instead a footrail!

We were quite distressed to find that their gravesite (our family sacred site) has been violated.

We wonder how many other families are similarly distressed by the thoughtless act of the Port Pirie Regional Council in remove the headstones, apparently simply for ease of maintenance. 

It would be a great show of respect to the deceased war personnel, and their families, if council reversed what has been done, and reinstated the old war gravesites with headstones as originally sited.

Kevin Markham, Valley View

PS: My parents’ headstone (concrete plinth) was renewed and dad’s service plaque refinished to new condition, at the Markham’s family expense, when my mother’s ashes were placed in with dad in July 2011. I wonder if their grave was also considered as ‘deteriorated significantly’?