Praskovya and Boris Vays tried to hold back tears as they described their 25-year-old son in front of his gravesite.
They say Aaron Vays was kind, he loved cars, and he was an engineer like his father. The man died in a car crash in 2014.
Vays was buried at Seamanville Cemetery, owned by First Presbyterian Church in Monroe. His parents designed an elaborate $61,000 monument, and they say cemetery members approved it.
According to a legal document filed by the church's attorney, First Presbyterian says the monument is too tall and needs to be removed. The church is asking a judge for permission to remove the items not in regulation, like the monument, gravel, and artificial decorations, and for the Vays family to compensate them for removal and court costs.
"It's a little curious as there are many monuments throughout the cemetery here, that have pennants, or flags, or pinwheels, or little statues, as well as gravel and other borders. It's unclear why the church is singling out my clients," said the Vays' attorney Kelly Pressler of Jacobowitz and Gubits.
The church's attorney notes in the lawsuit that cemetery rules allow the church to remove artificial adornments without notice to the owner. But the Vays aren't giving up.
"We will fight until we get in the ground. If we have to sell our house, we will sell our house. We will sell our cars. But we will fight that," said Boris Vays.
The discovery process in court could begin around the new year. The Vays family has filed a third-party lawsuit against the funeral home who interned their son, in part, because the family said they were misled on cemetery regulations.