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Since You Asked: Cemetery's condition could be terminal

I had a layover in Chicago, and as we were landing I noticed a cemetery next to the Chicago O'Hare runway with a banner that said, "Save Our Cemeteries."

Why is there a cemetery there, and why is the cemetery endangered?

— Allen G., Ashland

The city of Chicago has been expanding its runways at Chicago O'Hare Airport. The 160-year-old St. Johannes Cemetery in Bensenville is obstructing the path of the next runway on O'Hare's construction itinerary, according to Chicago's WGN-TV.

St. John's United Church of Christ sued the city in 2002 to stop it from relocating about 1,300 graves at the cemetery to make way for the runway. Construction of the tips of the runway, which are off cemetery property, are already under way while the legal battle continues, the TV station reported.

The cemetery was founded in 1849 by German immigrants.

Supporters of preserving the cemetery erected the banner, garnering the attention of some of the local, national and international passengers who happen to whiz by as planes land and taxi on the nearby runway.