Families fight for cemetery mementos

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VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a story about a little girl and her favorite animal.

"She was definitely crazy about horses," said Justin White.

White's daughter, nine-year-old Hailey, died nearly two years ago. Her grave site in Versailles is kind of a statement of who she was, and certainly a comfort to her dad.

"Sometimes we just sit. Her brother and I will bring her a toy, her mother will bring toys out here. Just anything to feel like you kind of connect," he said.

But a few days ago, a sign went up at the entrance, telling people they had to remove lights, toys, and other mementos before April 25, or they'd be removed by city workers.

After several complaints city officials said they had to start following rules that had been on the books for years but not enforced. That didn't sit well with many people with loved ones at Rose Crest Cemetery.

"The city was looking to take that away from us," White said.

Tonight, City Hall was full of people upset over the change and in front of a packed room, Justin White made his case.

"I've got a nine-year-old daughter out there...my way to connect with her...the little piece of normalcy...is to know her lights are on because she was scared of the dark. Just think about that for me," White told the council members.

After about an hour of public comment, city officials decided to suspend any action at the cemetery and set a date to look at the possibility of changing some of those rules.

"I feel like we'll be able to reach a compromise where we can all win and be happy," said White.

For now, little Hailey's light will shine on.

"She's still my baby. Even though she's not exactly right here with me, I still feel compelled to protect her and that's part of the thing to carry it on is she was afraid of the dark and I want to keep it lit for her," said White.

The next meeting will be May 7 at 6PM.

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