By T. Saye Goinleh
On this year’s celebration of Decoration Day, while many Liberians were observing the event in a rather sad and mournful mood, others took the day to merry-make occasioned by dancing, the display of unpleasant and ugly social behaviors at some grave sites around Monrovia and its environs.
Our reporter who visited the Bernard Farm Kpelleh Town Community grave yard observed that despite previous warning from authorities of the Liberia National Police calling for a ban on the sale of alcoholic products at various cemeteries where people have gone to pay respect to their dead ones, this was a bizarre and different scenario.
There was a gigantic musical set with two eight-thousand-watt speakers placed at the Kpelleh Town grave yard blaring heavy vibration in the air with a dancing contest going on at the same time with some winners being pronounced by the DJ amidst heavy applause.
Another peculiar panorama at the Bernard Farm burial ground was a young man in his early thirties holding and parading a dried human skull in his hands soliciting funds as if he was collecting offerings during a church service. Many persons were equally seen dropping moneys into the empty skull, some ranging from one-hundred Liberian dollar bank note to as high as ten United States.
An elderly woman in her mid-fifties who watched the entire episode commented that the Liberian society is again going back to the attitude of the war days when some warring factions’ fighters used human skulls as helmets simply to put psychological fears in their enemies and victims at various road blocks. ‘’This is a complete broad-day madness we are looking at today. Where that boy got the human being, head born from to bluff with it?’’, the woman wondered.
While the dancing competition was going on just nearby, pandemonium broke out when spectators suddenly began fleeing hector-scatter as a result a mausoleum holding the remains of someone buried in the 1980’s began caving in, leaving some persons injured. It all happened when those watching the dancing contest weight became too heavy on this particular tomb and came quickly crumbling down exposing some of the skeletons it was holding.
Apart from the exhibition of the skull by this young fellow at the grave in Bernard Farm, there were numerous ugly scenes that also led to violence when many persons were seen scrambling over a single grave with everyone claiming that it belongs to their late relatives. At the same time, the whole burial ground was on that day transformed into a mini supermarket and a disco-dance party theater coupled with drunkenness even among teenagers.