… Only in America, as wise man Harry Golden might’ve said. There is so much sadness in this story, and yet it reads like something The Onion spiked as ‘going too far’:
CINCINNATI — Officials at a cemetery that removed a slain Iraq war veteran’s towering SpongeBob SquarePants headstone from her final resting place after they deemed it inappropriate for their traditional grounds were planning to meet with the soldier’s family to explore possible solutions.
The headstone of Kimberly Walker, 28, was made in the likeness of her favorite cartoon character and erected at Spring Grove Cemetery on Oct. 10, almost eight months after she was found slain in a Colorado hotel room.
Despite getting the cemetery’s prior approval of the headstone’s design — a smiling SpongeBob in an Army uniform, with Walker’s name and rank — her family said Monday that cemetery staff called them the day after it was installed to say it would have to come down.
The 7-foot headstone, along with a near-exact duplicate erected for Walker’s living twin sister, have been removed and will not be allowed back up, cemetery President Gary Freytag said Monday…
Walker was found dead in a hotel room in Colorado Springs in February on Valentine’s Day, strangled and beaten to death. Her boyfriend, an Army sergeant stationed nearby, was arrested and charged with her killing.
Walker’s twin sister, Kara Walker, said the family is beyond distraught. A lot of thought went into choosing the gravestones which she said were chosen because her sister loved SpongeBob, even outfitting her entire bedroom with the cartoon character’s decorations….
The Washington Post has a picture at the link, and even in pixilated form it’s… quite eye-catching. Memorialists from the Classical Egyptian dynastic period to the high-Victorian life-sized-weeping-angels era would be envious of the technology that enables such a marvel of stonecutting, and at a price point achievable even by a family of ordinary means! And yet…
Well, even though some of my fondest childhood memories are of picnicing at various cemeteries of historical interest (my mother believed that education should be lived), I’ve always insisted that I want to be cremated, the ashes scattered. (Preferably by throwing them in the faces of my enemies, althought there’s probably EPA regulations forbidding that.)