Letters to the Editor

Let's build a community cemetery in Federal Way | Letters

A scene from Memorial Day 2009 at Gethsemane Cemetery, located on Pacific Highway South at the Federal Way/Pierce County border. - Mirror file photo
A scene from Memorial Day 2009 at Gethsemane Cemetery, located on Pacific Highway South at the Federal Way/Pierce County border.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

I’m not all thrilled that the city council voted to fund (a design) for the $31 million performing arts center. I wish they would have asked for a vote of the other 88,000 citizens of our community. In this busy world, I’m sure many of them don’t even know about this project.

I’m not against having “culture” in our community. I’ve lived here now 50 years and have taken my children to the library, gave them piano lessons and they played instruments in their school orchestras. They can tell you the many times we went to the Seattle Art Museum and Volunteer Park and other places around our area.

Here is something that I’ve wondered why others have not felt the need, as I have, about a community cemetery. I went through my files and found that I had made comments in the local paper in the 1990s about having a Federal Way Cemetery. At that time with Federal Way becoming a “city,” I would read about new ballfields, open space, and turning the old “airfield” into a park, which came about as Celebration Park, which as I recall was voted down two times and then overridden.

No one leaves this world without dying. It comes at all ages and yet we as a society tend to avoid this issue. As I’m getting older, I’d like to know that I could be buried in my hometown, not the one I left in Utah more than 50 years ago and still have three plots that my husband “inherited.” In those little towns there, every town has their own cemetery.

I’ve heard from others to whom I have made comments about this need, who say “We don’t have the land for it.” I’m sure we could find some. This could be an “open space” where it’s quite grassy land could serve a dual purpose. We could wander and reflect on the names and lives of those who came before us, as I have done in several cemeteries.

In conclusion, here are the words of English Statesman William Gladstone:

“Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to higher ideals.”

Lynda Jenkins, Federal Way


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