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Elvis Australia : Official Elvis Presley Fan Club

EPE Statement on Meditation Garden + Elvis' fans Reply

By Elvis Australia
Source: EPE
October 27, 2013 - 9:30:34 AM

EPE have responded to our request for information regarding the recent change at Graceland, seeing the Meditation Garden cleaned up. 'The Meditation Garden has indeed been cleaned as we have had some procedure changes. We will continue to allow fans and guests to leave items but they are removed daily and those appropriate, kept for the archives. Fresh flowers will be left until they need to be removed and silk flowers will remain for a few days before being removed. These procedures were put in place at the wishes of the family in order to keep this area with a more manicured look'.

Elvis Australia has received much email from concerned fans about the change and there has been confusion as to exactly what was happening. We feel on balance that the change is for the good based on the above statement and what we see, the look is uncluttered and dignified and as stated flowers are not 'thrown out over night' as some have claimed. However what do you think? Author Please contribute your thoughts below.

The fans Verdict

Overall the response to the changes and the following statement from EPE regarding the mediation Garden at Graceland has been positive in favor of the new policy, while we have received strong opinions both ways most have approved of the new 'look'. Below we have selected varying views, not intended to favour either view.

I have been to Graceland many times and always thought the meditation garden looked really tacky with all stuff left laying around. I'm sure that is not what Elvis had in mind, so i'm sure he would be very happy to see it cleaned up. Donna / United States.

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I think it is a good idea - when I was there, although the sentiment is so very nice and heartfelt, I found that it took away from the beauty and serenity of the meditation gardens. Jeannie / Canada.

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A nice, neat, clean look is so much more attractive. Perhaps there could be a designated area where people could leave their mementoes but the actual grave-sight area could only have flowers. It is truly amazing that 36 years after Elvis; passing that people still come and visit and leave a dedication to him, however, with the amount of visitors, it does lend to clutter. An area where they could still leave a memorial, but keep the sight tidy would cover both issues tactfully. Hope this suggestion is helpful. Lynda / Canada.

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I for myself find it disrespectful what they did at Elvis Graveyard and I also think, that Elvis himself, would turn upside down in his Grave, if he would know, what happened to all the tiny little lovely things, Fan's worldwide put on his Grave to pay tribute. As long as they remove fresh Flowers I wouldn't say nothing, but all the Angles made from Stone or even crystal could stay there just to show that EPE and the Presley Family do care about the Fan's. In my opinion it just show's how less they really care. I won't put anything there as long as they continue putting all the lovely things away every Day. It's unbelievable and respect-less. Martina / Germany.

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I think this is so sad. Fans come from all over the world to leave a little something on the grave of Elvis and his family and now you say that is does not look up to standards. I am sure it is Lisa Marie's standards you speak of and I think it looks so bare and makes Elvis look like he has been forgotten. He will never be forgotten but I guess we have to do what they tell us to do. The next thing they will do is open a fresh flower stand outside so you have to buy a live flower from them to place on the grave. I am glad I have gotten to go and take flowers, teddy bears and even guitars to Elvis. I will be back again and I will let the world know that this decision is NOT from Elvis fans, but from EPE taking orders from ONE PERSON who hardly goes there any way. Linda / United States.

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I think this is a great idea and well overdue. We all love to go and place flowers there for Elvis, but in the last few years there have been getting more and more, dare I say, tacky items or plaques left in memory of someone dear that has passed away.

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I think without meaning to disrespect anyone, that Elvis' grave is not the place for these things. ............. It is a grave! Of a wonderful, very special man whom we all loved and any flowers should be laid there for him (and family) and him only!

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Also I have seen Irish gnomes and goodness knows what else. . it is just not suitable for Elvis' final resting place. ... in my opinion.

Lets all keep it a beautiful, reverent place and show our respect. God bless you Elvis. We love you still !!

Carol / United Kingdom.

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I was over there at Graceland for my first and only visit in my lifetime last year 2012. The Garden did look a bit shabby so I agree with the changes. It does keep things tidy otherwise things would get out of hand. Good work. Rosalyn / Australia.

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I think it ok, not a problem it does make it look nicer. Valerie / United States.

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I can't see an issue with this new procedure - it will just ensure that the area stays tidy. I don't think items should be removed daily, especially those that won't deteriorate but I can understand family wanting the area to be kept clean and tidy. Vicki / Australia.

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I agree with ÉPÉ with what they are doing. It looks much more dignified befitting our King. Diane / Australia.

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I agree that they should remove the items after they have been on there for awhile and they should keep everything that fans place on the graves so they can show the world how many people really truly love Elvis and are doing their best to keep his memory ALIVE!!!! Elvis may be gone but he will NEVER leave our hearts!!!! :) Kristin / United States.

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I would expect them to keep up on the grounds but I worked hard and spent good money on my tribute that I make every year for Elvis week and I know a lot of other fans did the same. If it starts to look shabby then of course it should be removed but as long as there is room and it looks good I feel they should be left. It's the fans love for Elvis that keeps us coming there and spending a lot of money. That money in turn keeps many people working and puts money in the families pockets. So if we like to see our tributes there then they should be left there as long as they are tasteful and look good. Fran / United States.

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I have been so sad to know that the gifts lovingly left by fans at the grave site have been discarded. Every item has great meaning to the person who places it; after all these years, the symbols of devotion are unwelcome. Diana / United States.

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Tough one this i would not be happy if i went to Memphis spent a lot of money on a floral tribute for Elvis. then went back two days later and it was gone. Pacer / United Kingdom.

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I have been there every single August, never missing even one, since Elvis died. The garden has always been filled with love and prayers and longing and tenderness. It has been kept neat by the groundskeepers. It was touching to see all the items and flowers and notes and crosses. .. I feel as though something very precious has been broken and discarded. Lisa may think she is being protective, but she is mistaken. She does not see the big picture and the enormous devotion that visits to the garden represent. Leaving items at the grave site is a deeply emotional thing.

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The symbolism of people leaving things on Elvis’ grave, besides their token of love and devotion, is likened to fans giving him things on stage, and I feel she should honor that tradition.  I have never seen the Meditation Garden in any sort of disarray, ever. There were beautiful angels and plaques sitting around that have been there for years. There are beautiful poems that have been written. The love, time, money and effort people exert to bring these offerings to Elvis cannot be understated. I do not find them tacky or inappropriate or cheap. Terry / United States.

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I agree that the meditation garden should be treated with dignity. I fail to see why fans would be upset that the graves of Elvis and his loved ones are not allowed to accumulate tokens from fans. If the graves are not kept clean of tributes they will in time be desecrated. It is a place of mediation and should be treated with respect as all graves should be, and fans should be grateful they are permitted to see and visit Elvis's final resting place and it should not be treated any other way. Really by leaving tributes they are just saying 'Look at me, I visited Elvis's grave and left something there to show I care'. Perhaps to please fans and allow them to feel they have cared perhaps there could be a place for donations, but not in the Meditation Garden, and the money used to buy toys for children at St Judes Hospital in Fans of Elvis's name. Louise / Australia.

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Here's a copy of the e-mail I sent to EPE 6th October regarding this issue, still no reply though!!
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Dear Sir or Madam,
here is a copy of my thoughts on the recent decision on the meditation garden developments.
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I agree that everyone has different thoughts on this & I'm so very, very grateful that I've been lucky enough to visit & to lay my tribute/flowers. I honestly have no problem with stuff being removed, stuff needs to be rotated after all but my anger (and yes it is anger) is that there seems to have been no prior notification that this was in the planning, bloody hell!! all they had to do was put it out there say a month before they took this action. An organization the size of EPE or the family (whoever decides policy) didn't come up with this on the 27th then implement it the next day, discussions must've been on going about how we'd react. Now if this is Lisa's desire I fully respect her wishes but we should've been informed, people had left tributes & within a couple of hours they were gone!! Imagine if you'd left something on the 28th (personally on my 1st visit I wrote a poem) and the next mornings walk up (I went up every morning of my trips) when expecting to see whatever you'd left was already gone (to God knows where) I reckon we'd all be disappointed. 
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With the size of the grounds at Graceland, would it be possible to have an area where fans can leave tributes/gifts while still having the same policy that seemed to serve the meditation garden well for the past 36 years? While still having the new policy at the meditation garden kept in place.

Yours sincerely

Kenny / United Kingdom.

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Below, the Meditation Garden, October 21, 2013 : 5:38pm Memphis Time

The Meditation Garden, October 21, 2013 : 5:38pm Memphis Time.
The Meditation Garden, October 21, 2013 : 5:38pm Memphis Time.


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