Cemetery in difficult spot after removing SpongeBob gravestone

Cincinnati’s historic Spring Grove Cemetery decided a 7-foot SpongeBob SquarePants wasn’t appropriate, but the family of the Iraq veteran who wanted it there is furious.

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That’s where the owners of the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati find themselves this week. The family of Iraq war veteran Kimberly Walker has gone public with its story of the cemetery’s decision to remove her headstone, which depicts her favorite cartoon character, SpongeBob, in an Army uniform with Walker’s name and rank.

The headstone went up Oct. 10, eight months after Walker, 28, was found killed in a Colorado hotel room. A day later, the family says, the cemetery opted to take it down along with one very similar to it, placed for Walker’s living twin sister, despite giving prior approval to the designs.

“We’ve decided that they aren’t appropriate for our historic cemetery and they can’t be displayed here,” cemetery President Grey Freytag told USA Today. Spring Grove maintains a stately appearance, and the employee who approved the headstones made a lapse in judgment, he said.

Freytag added he hopes the cemetery and the Walker family can “come out at the other end of the tunnel with a solution.” Spring Grove will reportedly reimburse the family for the headstones.

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