"She was a Sunday school teacher. She taught me 'love thine enemy.' You can't always live up to that, but she would be standing right here beside me supporting what I am doing today if she were still alive," Paul Keane said, holding a picture of his mother.
The longtime former Hartford High school teacher, Paul Keane, says his mother is buried at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hamden, Conn. The Hartford, Vt., resident is offering to donate the empty plot next to his mother to bury the Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
He blogged, "I am willing to donate a burial plot next to my mother in Mt. Carmel Burying Ground to the Tsarnaev family if they cannot obtain a plot."
But for some Connecticut residents with loved ones buried in the cemetery, Keane's offer is offensive.
"It's a disgrace," said Sandra Morenholz of Cheshire, Conn. "A lot of these people who are here, including my father, fought for freedom for their country. My father was a war hero and people who are terrorists in this country should not be in this cemetery."
Keane says the offer was a matter of living up to his religious values.
"This person, no matter how much of a pariah, no matter how despicable, no matter what a leper he is-- is a human being and deserves the right to be buried like anyone else," Keane said.
Some of Keane's Vermont neighbors are also against his offer, and say the memories of the marathon are still too fresh and painful.
"A little kid was killed. That is pretty hard to swallow," neighbor Neil Potter said. "So, I have some pretty strong feelings about all that stuff, and I love this country and if anything happens to it, it offends me."
WCAX News also spoke with several other neighbors who are not opposed to Keane's offer and say it is simply a kind gesture and nothing more. The Tsarnaev family has received other offers for a burial space, so at this point it is not clear what locations are being considered.