DEAR ABBY: I live down the street from the town cemetery. It contains some old stones from the 1800s that are starting to crumble. This cemetery has become a favorite place for many to walk their dogs or ride their bikes. One woman lets her dog run off-leash and her young daughters play tag around the stones. Another neighbor allowed her children to set off fireworks.
I was taught that in a cemetery, people should behave as if they are in a church. It upsets me to see this place used as a playground. This is a final resting place!
Can you comment on proper etiquette in the cemetery? -- RESPECTFUL IN OHIO
DEAR RESPECTFUL: Who is in charge of the upkeep of the cemetery? That individual should be informed about what's happening, so decorum can be re-established and activities that can cause it to deteriorate can be stopped. The idea that people have been using it as a dog park, where the animals can urinate and defecate on the graves, is appalling.
Cemetery etiquette is simple: Treat the graves as you would the graves of your parents, or as you would like your own to be treated. This includes no loud chatter, in case there are people in mourning there, not walking on the graves, not leaving chewing gum on the gravestones, keeping pets leashed (if they are brought there at all), and teaching children the difference between a cemetery and a playground.