PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - After years of frustration, people with loved ones buried at Jackson County Memorial Park in Pascagoula are now speaking with one voice to try and make the site a place of peace for the deceased.
Around 100 people gathered Thursday night to discuss their concerns over the Pascagoula cemetery, which is located on the corner of Louise Street and Ingalls Avenue.
Their family members are buried there, they will be buried there, but before that happens, they want Jackson County Memorial Park to be a place for peace and not a site of horror.
“Everybody has a story,” said Marmion Dambrino, who organized the meeting. “Everyone here at this meeting has a story, and it needs to be heard, because it’s important.”
United as a group, they hope to resolve the issues at the cemetery.
“This is the first step. We have a lot of work to do,” Dambrino said. “We’re finding out what to do, who to contact and we were really kind of all over the place for a while, but we’re looking for some positive results.”
Maintenance problems have been going on for years.
There are plots that are not completed months after burial. Headstones are sinking because the grounds are like a marsh.
Roads throughout the grounds have huge pot holes and disturbing debris in the corner of the cemetery with open vaults and headstones just lying there in full view.
“When you go out there and you see weeds a foot high on your mama’s grave, it doesn’t make you happy,” said steering committee member Aulton Vann. “If we stick together as a family, I want to say, and we can get some things done, but if we just try to do it individually, we’re not going to get it done.”
Gary Stevens is another committee member.
“I think it could be a beautiful cemetery if it were taken care of properly,” he said. “To me, it’s showing disrespect for our loved ones that are out there, that’s at rest there, and I think we need to do something to get the cemetery looking like a cemetery should look.”
Dambrino is focused and intent.
“I hope there is a solution on the horizon, and I’m going to get to the solution on the horizon. We’re not going to stop. I won’t stop until that cemetery is up to the standards that it needs to be for our loved ones who are out there.”
More community meetings are planned in the future. To keep up with those meetings and what’s happening with the cemetery, you can join the Jackson County Memorial Park Community Action Group on Facebook.