Wednesday | November 22, 2017
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Letters 10-13-2012

Property rights

Clarification sought

Does not the Constitution state that if one pays to own property, in the U.S., that it is theirs to do as he wishes to — within reason and the law?

For example: as written in the 5th Amendment “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” And then the 14th Amendment states “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

I raise this question in accordance to burial sites found located on one’s private property. I can find no place where it says one who owns property can be coerced into erecting a shrine, or for that matter setting aside land on one’s private property for or to designate a burial site of bygone years.

Should that have been the case, our highways, per se, would not be highways, as in Webster’s “a direct route to some objective” but simply crooked paths to wherever.

If no family cares for a century-old grave, would that not be cause for abandonment, as in “dust to dust” and not to be sanctioned as a shrine?

However, if a family comes forward to lay claim that a certain grave on someone’s private property (that at sometime had been sold by a family member) is of their ancestral linage, then, of course, they should have the right of removing what remains there be to wherever that family finds suitable to its wanting.

For such cases, would not it be appropriate for the state to set aside graveyards, similar to a veteran’s graveyard, for the specific purpose of re-interment of burial remains found on someone’s private property?

As afore mentioned, where does one find, in our Constitution, the right to dictate how a private property owner must erect (walling in of such sites) a shrine on his private property, which more than likely will affect the use and value of said private property. Someone, something is at fault here and I would think the situation warrants study and clarification.

One should remember throughout history cities such as Hiroshima, Pompeii and others in early centuries that had been completely destroyed, becoming graveyards, only to be rebuilt, one on top of the other. Civilization throughout the world has been built on graveyards.

Of course, if a burial site of royal significance was to be found, it would fall into another category. (I, an American of Hawaiian ancestry, would prefer that such royal remains would be entombed in the mausoleum on Oahu.

Hugo von Platen Luder