Acceptable flowers
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Prohibited decor
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A Sept. 15 inspection by personnel from Army National Military Cemeteries (ANMC) noted discrepancies with policies or standards at the Fort Sill Post Cemetery.

"Military cemeteries are to be held to a higher standard than private cemeteries. These are the final resting places our nation's heroes." said Mark Hill, Fort Sill Cemetery Responsible Official. "The following policy enforcement changes will help to ensure that our cemeteries meet or exceed the ANMC national shrine standard, while allowing families options to honor those interred here."

The current policies, posted at the entrance and parking area to the Fort Sill Post Cemetery are:

-- Fresh cut and artificial flowers may be placed in vases at grave sites at any time. Also, temporary vases are allowed.

-- Flowers that are wilted, faded or otherwise present an unsightly appearance will be removed by close of business each Friday.

-- People may not plant flowers in the cemetery at any time.

-- Potted plants at graves are permitted seven days before and after Easter.

-- Christmas wreaths and blankets are permitted on graves during the Christmas season. They will be removed no later than Feb. 1.

-- Placing floral items on top of or affixing decorations to headstones is prohibited.

-- Statues, lights, flags, glass objects or any type of commemorative items are not allowed. Also, powered devices, munitions, alcohol, tobacco or other items that present a health or safety concern are prohibited.

-- U.S. flags may be placed on Memorial Day, though placement will be done by service organizations under government direction.

The only cemetery-approved permanent flower vase that may be placed with a government marker, is the 4-by-10-inch paragon style vase.

All other styles, types or damaged vases will be removed, cataloged and stored for 60 days for next of kin to claim.

The government will not be responsible for any damage or maintenance of the permanent vases. Due to the nature, location and historic setting of the Native American cemeteries at Fort Sill, only approved temporary containers are authorized.

Prohibited items were deemed to detract from the good order and discipline of Army cemeteries. Any items left at grave sites are considered abandoned property, though objects deemed to be greater than $10 in value will be stored for 60 days for next of kin to claim.

For more information about the cemetery policy change, call Mark Hill at 580-442-2731 or email mark.a.hill58.civmail.mil.