Some good news for a Pearl City cemetery that’s been in chronic disrepair and fallen victim to vandals. This month, the Governor signed into law a measure that gives volunteers more leeway to clean it.
In the past, visitors have been disappointed at the sight of Sunset Memorial Park. Since the death of its previous owner, it’s been difficult to establish responsibility for the upkeep.
“Before it was terrible. The grass was knee high and it was very hard to find the gravestones and the markers,” said cemetery visitor Sam Ho
Here’s what it looks like today, thanks to a handful of individuals.
“The volunteers that come out here and maintain the cemetery right now are doing a good job keeping the grass down and all the rubbish is gone,” said Ho.
There’s still a lot of work to be done and many stopped because of liability issues. Now they have the support of the state.
A newly signed law limits liability for volunteers and nonprofit organizations who come to maintain the cemetery on their own. Something that a group called Na Ohana O Sunset Memorial Park has been waiting for.
“I felt a sense of relief that finally something is being done so that it will help protect the people that clean the cemetery,” said Darrell Salvador of Na Ohana O Sunset Memorial Park. “We needed to go through the legal process in fear of any kind of trespassing charges or anything that would bring us grief when we are trying to do something great.”
Salvador has been has been spearheading this project for years. His next plan of action is to make the nonprofit organization official and start raising funds.
“Once this license is put in place then that’s the key to us starting to put something together to get that cemetery back to its pristine looks and beauty,” said Salvador.
The act also requires the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, along with the state comptroller, to develop short and long term strategies for repairs and maintenance at Sunset Memorial Park.