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Widow asks for assistance

This is a letter regarding the problem of us not being able to put a veteran stone on my husband's grave. My husband, Vito, is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Jackson Ave., Hastings on the Hudson NY.

Our local veterans' office gave us the forms with their approval, to take to the cemetery office. The cemetery would not approve this request. I have been told that the base of the family stone is too big. They never explained this to me until someone in the office at Mt. Hope Cemetery finally did so. It seems that the base (not the stone) is 1 to 1- 1/2 inches over what it was supposed to be. Our plot is 9x10, which I am told is a large plot. No one can understand why this is such a problem.

Why did they allow the people we bought it from to install it if it was the wrong size? They say that my husband signed a form that he would never put any footstones on the grave. My husband Vito, could never have thought the veterans marker was a footstone. He would never have done that if he knew he would not be able to get a memorial stone from the Veterans' Association. He always reminded us that when he died he would be entitled to a stone from the government. This stone would have made him very proud, as he was proud to be a veteran. This would be an honor to him.

He belonged to the Amvets Association, VFW, and the national organization of the 10th Armored Division. He was 18 years old when he volunteered for the service during World War II. After basic training he was shipped to Europe when most young men today are in high school. He loved his country. There is a beautiful American flag flying over his grave. We know this is what he would want.

After seeing so many of these stones throughout Mt. Hope and all our local cemeteries, we feel that my husband helped to win the war, but in his death we are losing the battle to pay him tribute.

Our family would appreciate any help you can provide. You can help by contacting the cemetery asking them to please reconsider their decision, and any other comments you wish to add.

Mary De Santis

23 Fowler Avenue

Yonkers, NY 10701

914-963-4677

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