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The subject is the crematorium, Black Mountain, 2016.

Battle stations! Man the torpedoes, the torpedoes in question being aimed at Harwood Funeral Home, Rick Harwood in particular.

Rick Harwood has been personally disparaged, maligned and vilified. And why?Harwood Funeral Home plans to install a state-of-the-art crematorium.

I am astounded by the hype, the hysteria, the frenzy and the misconceptions occasioned by this news.

Hundreds of people have been recruited for opposition. Would it have been too difficult to talk directly with Rick to clear up misunderstandings?

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, only eight individuals had contacted Rick Harwood to better understand the situation. I am one of them.

Here in Black Mountain, it is our custom to bury our dead indirectly. We employ a mortician/funeral director to prepare dead bodies for burial, to gently guide us through the rites of passage. We are left to wear black and to get a grip on our emotions.

Cremation is the wave of the future. Deal with it as you will.

Rick Harwood buries our dead with exemplary service that is professional, discreet, respectful, caring and considerate. Beyond that, he is fully supportive of the Black Mountain community.

Harwood Funeral Home is legally green-lighted to install a crematorium on premises. This facility has only to pass emission standards of the EPA.

We all entrust our family secrets, our family dynamics to this man. Can we continue to depend on this honest, hard-working man to do right by us?

Can we step out of the prevailing, fearful hysteria, tamp down the mania and eliminate the ill will?

I stand in support of Rick Harwood.

Danielle Lavery is a Black Mountain resident and author.

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