Hillsboro cemetery asks family to remove cross display on veteran's gravesite

Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 10:09:59-05

HILLSBORO, Ohio -- A 7-foot cross bearing the U.S. and Army flags stands at the gravesite of veteran Zach Gullett.

Gullett’s father, Mike, said he placed the cross there to honor his son, who died in 2007 after serving in Iraq.

But now, a manager of Hillsboro Cemetery has asked the Gullett family to remove the display.

Manager Deborah Harsha said she’s received complaints from multiple people. One man, she said, told her the display made him feel like he “was going to Disneyworld” when he went to visit his family.

Gullett said he asked for permission before putting up the cross. 

"Just out of respect I went and asked first, and now my wife looked at the rules and regulations sign they've got over there, there's no mention about not being able to have that stuff,” Gullett said.

Harsha acknowledges that Gullett asked for permission, but she said the display turned out to be a little more than she envisioned.

"I told them that I thought as long as they kept it in the monument line or in the marker line that a cross would be alright,” Harsha said. “I was assuming that it would be a small cross."

Harsha has asked Gullett to remove the display. He said his wife talked to Harsha on the phone and told her they will remove the cross once other people remove their displays.

"I talked to her for a little bit,” Gullett said. “I was just getting too upset, so I handed the phone to my wife and let her talk to her. But my wife said when other people remove their stuff, start moving their stuff, then we'll remove ours."

Harsha said she hopes everyone takes the concerns of other people into consideration, and Hillsboro Cemetery will modify regulations for displays in the near future.