To The Daily Sun,
I want to call attention to the appalling behavior of some of the boaters who anchored off the shore of Bayside Cemetery on the 4th of July. For 150 years, Bayside Cemetery has provided a dignified final resting place for citizens of the Lakes Region. For most of the year it is a peaceful, quiet place where people visit departed loved ones, tend to flowers at grave sites, or attend graveside services.
While visitors are always welcome to the cemetery, there are “No Trespassing” signs posted along the shoreline — these are for the safety of visitors and for the security of the cemetery’s vehicles and maintenance equipment. This 4th of July, hundreds of boaters were anchored offshore. Many of them completely disregarded the “No Trespassing” signs, coming ashore all day to dump trash, use the trees as their personal toilet, and walk through the cemetery carrying beer and ice from Shaw's back to their boats. A chain that prohibits unauthorized vehicles from parking in the “No Trespassing” zone was removed and a vehicle was parked on the shore. A bereaved family held a graveside service on Saturday to the sounds of stereos blasting music and raucous partying.
This behavior is unacceptable. I was shocked and disgusted to witness people being so disrespectful at a cemetery. It is the desire of the Bayside Cemetery Association to make the cemetery a quiet, beautiful final resting place for deceased loved ones. Peace and good order must prevail and the sacredness of the space maintained at all times. This was ruined on the 4th of July by uncaring, thoughtless people.
Lastly, I do want to thank the Laconia police officer who responded to my call about unauthorized vehicles parked in the “No Trespassing” zone and for speaking to the trespassers. I do not know how to change the behavior of these boaters but I appreciate the efforts and support of the Laconia Police Department.
Virginia Hansen, Manager