Liberia News: PALM GROOVE CEMETERY BECOMES DUMP SITE

By Jamesetta D Williams

Monrovia-March-12-TNR:Liberians will on tomorrow, March 13, 2024 observe National Decoration Day as a national holiday across the nation.

Decoration Day was designated as a national holiday and set aside as the second Wednesday in March by an Act approved on October 24, 1916.

In line with this, Liberia’s President, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., has by Proclamation declared tomorrow, March 13, 2024 as “Decoration Day” and it is to be observed throughout the Republic as a National Holiday.

While the day is intended to honor dead relatives, some Liberians have chosen the path of dishonoring the dead at various cemeteries.

One of such places that is being used as a dumping site is the Palm Groove Cemetery or Center Street Grave Site, a cemetery near downtown Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.

Palm Groove Cemetery, is one of Liberia’s oldest cemeteries with a long standing history.

In that site, slain Liberian President, William Richard Tolbert was laid to rest there including other permanent officials of government and the 13 ex-officials who were killed during the Doe regime.

The cemetery that has valuable memories is laying in ruin as it has turned into a dumpsite and home for disadvantaged young Liberians.

Our reporter who visited the place observed that the cemetery has been taken over by trash and that Zogoes have made it their home and hideout where they usually terrorize citizens who unknowingly use that side of Monrovia at night.

Amos George, former caretaker of the site said for the past years, the cemetery has been dumping ground for residents around the area adding that at the time he was serving as caretaker, there were lots he did to keep the history of the area alive.

He narrated that at some point in time, people were chased out of the grave yard every time and he was on many occasions attacked by Zogos or disadvantages youth.

He recounted additional challenges as cleaningof the place, and discovering of dead bodies, opening and damaging of several graves.

“We complained about this situation during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf,” he said.

Matthew Jones, also a former caretaker said he has been providing lots of care for the cemeteryuntil things went bad.

He wants government remove the gravesite and transform the place to a beautiful park or playground or properly fence the cemetery.

Mr. Jones decried the bad state of the area and said it has turned into dangerous place. He intoned that it is very dangerous for citizens to even go at the place to decorate their relative’s graves because the entire place is full with human bones due to the digging and opening of graves by the disadvantaged youth.

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