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Family pleads for change to keep final resting place of North Texan veterans sacred

Family pleads for change to keep final resting place of North Texas veterans sacred
Family pleads for change to keep final resting place of North Texas veterans sacred 02:09

OAK CLIFF — A family is pleading for change at Laurel Land Memorial Park in Oak Cliff after they say the cemetery's Field of Honor has turned into a muddy mess and is covering up several North Texan veterans' graves, including their father's.

"He picked out his spot here personally because he felt like the Field of Honor was an honor," says Evie Anderson, daughter of WWII veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Lynn Irvin.

Anderson says in the last five years, the Field of Honor has dishonored the veterans, claiming the memorial has become a mud pit, due to a lack of grass from tall trees. 

"I have come out here and not been able to find my parent's grave marker because it's been covered up completely," Anderson claims. 

"We have had mud up to six inches high, just not my daddy's grave and my momma's grave, but more than 50 graves at least," says Anderson's brother, Gerry Irvin.

Anderson sent photos and videos, showing several of the several gravestones had mud and debris blocking out names. Some of the stones appeared to be completely submerged in mud. 

Anderson says the only reason her father's grave has been visible lately is because she sent the cemetery countless emails over the span of five years. She claims the cemetery only recently took action to uncover her father's grave and remove some of the mud on some surrounding graves. 

"I'm happy about it, but here are other veterans that need care too," Anderson admits.

Anderson and her brother said they would like to see Laurel Land put in new grass that can withstand the shade of the large trees, as well as put a barrier wall at the front of the field to keep any rainwater from washing mud into the field.

Laurel Land Memorial Park released the following statement to CBS News Texas:

"Unfortunately, we experienced some flooding in the Field of Honor within Laurel Land Memorial Park after receiving a lot of rainfall recently. In the Field of Honor, we have a lot of Oak Trees that cover the ground, which can lead to muddy conditions due to lack of grass in those particular areas. We have planned measures to add grass in places to reduce muddy conditions, but we need a period of dry weather to complete them."

Anderson says other veteran families are upset as well, and hope more is done soon to fix the final resting place of the nation's heroes. 

"These are veterans. These are soldiers who have served our country. They deserve more than a muddy grave," Anderson says.

CBS News Texas asked Laurel Land if there will be additional measures taken beyond new grass but have not received a response.  

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