Cemetery takes down $26,000 SpongeBob monuments - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Cemetery takes down $26,000 SpongeBob monuments approved for slain Army Sergeant

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The grave-site of an Iraq war veteran -- has now become the center of controversy.

A towering head-stone in the shape of SpongeBob SquarePants -- taken down.

The historic Cincinnati cemetery calls it inappropriate.

But, the grieving family disagrees.

28-year-old Army Sergeant Kimberly Walker survived two tours of duty in Iraq, only to be allegedly murdered by her boyfriend.

Her grieving family took solace knowing she would be buried with her favorite cartoon character -- SpongeBob SquarePants.

The funeral home actually bought the pillow of SpongeBob and we asked them could they put it in her casket.

Kimberly's twin sister, Kara had an even bigger idea: build a SpongeBob SquarePants memorial at her gravesite.

Every year, my sister had a SpongeBob birthday party, everything she had was SpongeBob.

The Walkers had two SpongeBob statues built. One in an army uniform in memory of Kimberly. The other in a navy uniform to honor Kara, a Navy IT Specialist.

"They came and said yeah we can go ahead and do SpongeBob, she gave us a statement, we signed a contract," Deborah Walker, the victim's mother said.

The monuments each weigh 7,000 pounds, and stand six feet high and four feet wide. They were finally put into place on October 10th.

"I thought it was like the greatest thing in the cemetery I even told the people there I was like, I think this is the best monument I've ever seen," Deborah Walker, the victim's mother said.

But less than 24 hours later, the cemetery called the family to say it was removing the monuments. The cemetery's president told CNN:

"The family chose a design with the guidance of a Spring Grove employee who unfortunately made an error in judgment. The monument does not fit within spring grove cemetery guidelines, was not approved by senior management and cannot remain here."

"It was just heartbreaking. We were just trying to honor her wishes," Kara Walker, the victim's sister said.

The cemetery also tells CNN--

"We are working with the walker family and are committed to design a solution, at our expense, that will properly memorialize Kimberly."

The family is going to meet with officials from the cemetery later Tuesday.

Let us know what you think on Facebook.

Do you think Kimberly should have her dying wish?

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