Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Conflict Over Relation Of Graves In Atlanta

This is a tough but also increasingly occurring issue.

Certain small cemeteries constructed during a time when there was less formal zoning of the land deserving to have their final resting place respected. This versus the call for development of a particular parcel of land in line with the immediate surrounding area.

I am inclined to respect the graves. I have seen plenty occasions in which a small cemetery was protected by iron fencing while the property around it was developed.

In a recent case in Clayton County the problem was that this pre-Civil War grave site filled with enslaved Black people was in an area that was inaccessible by the public. It was moved to a public cemetery even though the families strongly objected.

In all cases there needs to be an open process to balance the interests of the respect for the dead with the need for forward progress.

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