Robot 6

Family feuds with cemetery over SpongeBob gravestones

spongebob gravemarker2

The family of a murdered Iraq war veteran appears to have reached an impasse with a Cincinnati cemetery over twin 6-foot-tall, 7,000-pound statues of SpongeBob SquarePants installed at her grave site.

According to The Associated Press, the headstones were erected in Spring Grove Cemetery on Oct. 10, nearly eight months after 28-year-old Army Sgt. Kimberly Walker, who had served two tours in Iraq, was found strangled and beaten to death in a Colorado hotel room, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend.

Because of Walker’s longtime love of the cartoon character — she even had a SpongeBob-themed birthday party ever year — her family decided the best memorial would be statues of the energetic cartoon sea sponge, one in an Army uniform to represent Kimberly and a second in a Navy uniform for her living twin sister Kara, an IT specialist for the Navy. They spent $26,000 on the statues, receiving permission from Nickelodeon and design approval from a cemetery employee.

But the day after the memorials were installed, a Spring Grove staff member called to say they had to be taken down. It seems the employee who OK’d the plan made a mistake.

“The family chose a design with the guidance of a Spring Grove employee who unfortunately made an error in judgment,” cemetery president Gary Freytag told CNN. “The monument does not fit within Spring Grove Cemetery guidelines, was not approved by senior management and cannot remain here.”

Walker’s family wants the two SpongeBobs reinstalled, but Freytag insists that’s not an option. He’s proposed instead a more traditional marker bearing the character’s likeness, or somehow laying the original monuments on the ground — at the cemetery’s expense. The family is considering the proposals.

“My sister served our country and most people try to accommodate veterans and try to take care of them,” Kara Walker told The AP. “For them not to accommodate and respect what my sister sacrificed, not only for my family, but for everyone else in this country, really bothers me.”

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Comments

13 Comments

It was approved by the cemetery before being ordered. It belongs to a dead soldier. It isn’t the tackiest thing I have ever seen in a cemetery, not even close.

Wow. That is incredibly tacky. I’m a huge Indiana Jones fan, but I wouldn’t want a big Indy statue permanently placed over my grave. It would just be inappropriate. It’s a cemetery, not a children’s playground.

There’s no right answer to this story. Go with the family, and you’ve approved a colossal eyesore that will confound other people grieving there. Go with the cemetery, and you’re upsetting a fallen military member’s family.

I wish more memorials celebrated the happy life of those they memorialized, rather than being sober, monolithic reminders of their deaths.

I guess the best solution might be to have the cemetery reimburse the family for the original statues and then come to some sort of agreement on a more traditional marker that includes a picture of SpongeBob on it.

And seriously, I love comics, sports and cartoons, but I’m not getting an Avengers, Phoenix Suns or Tom & Jerry statue as a marker. As has been mentioned above, it’s just really tacky.

Who’s to say what’s “tacky” and what isn’t? If you think they’re an eyesore then just be happy they’re not over your plot. Glad to hear that you folks won’t have favorite characters on your memorials but, evidently, this Iraqi War Veteran and her family decided otherwise. They bought the statues, went through all the proper chanels and heard nothing until the statues were in place. Sorry to hear that the approval process was a “mistake” and an “error in judgement”. But that’s a problem for the cemetery, not for the family.

“this Iraqi War Veteran and her family decided otherwise”

It says the family decided, not the veteran. Having a giant cartoon gravestone weren’t her last wishes or anything.

The cemetery made a mistake, they should have to live with it.

This makes me think I want to get some colossal eyesore of a monument erected on my grave! Atfer all, your average cemetary has an “active” period of some 40-50 years, after which all the grave sites are filled and it’s just maintained as a memorial. Having some interesting monuments such as this do a great deal towards keeping interst in the place, and not falling into disrepair.

how is this tacky? Are the guys saying that going to the cementary to pay their respects to their love ones or going to see other people graves.

Hey “karl,” her twin sister Kara who is also a veteran and alive got the same gravestone. So, it’s apparently part of her last wishes.

Let the poor girl have her gravestone…

She’s dead, she does not care either way what is above her grave, have some respect for living humans visiting there and take that shit down

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