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Fort prepares for Memorial Day Eagle Scout lays markers at graves on fort cemetery
Sierra Vista Herald/Review ^ | Bill Hess

Posted on 05/27/2012 7:40:31 AM PDT by SandRat

SIERRA VISTA — Monday is Memorial Day.

It’s a day people will go to a cemetery; a place a loved one or acquaintance may be buried.

A person who may have died in one of the nation’s wars.

A place where veterans of America’s armed forces rest after their deaths years after their service.

But, getting ready for that somber time means that days before, a number of activities must take place to prepare the cemeteries.

Friday, such activity was happening at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery.

Part of the day’s event were centered around Michael Jones’ Eagle Scout project.

What the 16-year-old started a couple of years ago aimed to make crosses and Stars of David to put at appropriate graves in the state-operated cemetery.

“I thought it was a good idea for the cemetery,” he said, as soldiers of the Company B, 305th Military Intelligence Battalion were measuring the place where the wooden devices were to be put.

Facing the tombstone, the crosses and stars were to be six inches in front of the right side of the markers.

On Thursday, Girl Scouts were to place American flags six inches in front of the left sides of the tombstones.

Jones said the decision to make the special markers for Christian and Jewish graves came about to signify the religious background of the individuals.

While there are people of other faiths buried in the cemetery, their symbols are more difficult to make out of single sheets of plywood, he said.

There is no disrespect to the others.

If a grave marker has no indication of what the faith base of the person is, no cross or star will be placed.

However, America flags are placed at all tombstones.

Jones, has an older brother, 19-year-old Lee, who is already an Eagle Scout — his project was painting VFW Post 9972 in Sierra Vista. Michael said obtaining material and finding people to cut the designs, paint them, and place red poppies on the crosses and stars, took time.

The VFW Post donated more than 3,000 poppies, the well recognized symbol of Memorial Day, which traces its significance back to World War I, when the flower was mentioned in the poem “In Flanders Field,” by a Canadian Army doctor.

Sheets of plywood were donated and out of the material more than 1,400 crosses and 21 Stars of David were cut, each being a single item, meaning there was no requirement to nail any pieces together.

A member of former Boy Scout Troop 424, which disbanded in December, Jones officially received his Eagle Scout award on Saturday, bringing to a close his project and his time with his home troop.

The son of Linda Jones and Robert Irwin, who were both active in the troop as adult leaders, their son’s last responsibility Friday for his Eagle Scout project was to check the placement of the crosses and stars, using a master list he had.

While some of the Fort Huachuca soldiers were working at placing the religious symbols, others of the unit were putting up state and territorial flags.

Cemetery Administrator Joe Larson said soldiers and scouts — boys and girls — significantly support the cemetery on special occasions, such as preparing for the annual Memorial Day service.

Jones also appreciated the help of the soldiers and others.

“If they didn’t help, my project wouldn’t be done,” he said.


There are a number of Memorial Day ceremonies scheduled locally on Monday.

They are:

• 8 a.m. at the Tombstone City Cemetery — not Boot Hill — Tombstone American Legion Post 24 will host the memorial event, followed at 11 a.m. with another ceremony in front of the post located on Allen Street.

• 11 a.m. Sierra Vista American Legion Post Bill Carmichael Post 52 will host a ceremony at Cochise Memory Gardens on Charleston Road.

• 11:30 a.m. Fort Huachuca will have its annual ceremony at the Old Post Cemetery, which will include honor guards, the placing of wreaths, the 62nd Army Band, the firing of a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps,” and the firing of a cannon salute.

The guest speaker will be Maj. Gen. Gregg Potter, commander of the Intelligence Center of Excellence and the fort.

Buses will be available to transport individuals from a designated vehicle parking area to the cemetery and back beginning at 10:30 a.m. Signs to the parking lot will be posted to help drivers come to the area.

• 6 p.m. The annual ceremony at the Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery will be held.

The guest speaker is Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.

Attempts to find out if any event is planned in Bisbee were unsuccessful.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: honoring; huchuca; scouts
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1 posted on 05/27/2012 7:40:42 AM PDT by SandRat
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To: Kaslin; AZamericonnie; Kathy in Alaska; LUV W

We hpnor our vets.

2 posted on 05/27/2012 7:50:11 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

3 posted on 05/27/2012 8:24:41 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: SandRat
"We hpnor our vets."

We should support businesses that employ veterans. Does anyone know of a software company employing vets writing spellcheck programs?

I know someone who should shop there if so.

4 posted on 05/27/2012 8:28:25 AM PDT by diogenes ghost
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To: SandRat

In just a few years this kind of activity will be called “hate speech” by the Democrats and made illegal.

5 posted on 05/27/2012 8:43:11 AM PDT by kjo (+)
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To: kjo
The RATS doing that here would earn them, far stronger and unsavory words, with a permanent invitation to leave town by high noon and never return.
6 posted on 05/27/2012 8:56:18 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Never Forget*** Ever Honor.

God bless the Scouts, the troops and all invoved in honoring our heroes.

7 posted on 05/27/2012 9:27:39 AM PDT by MEG33 (O Lord, Guide Our Nation)
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To: SandRat
I'm a grumpy old man, generally not sentimental.

But it does warm my heart that someday, kids will place a flag in front of the place where I will be interred.


8 posted on 05/27/2012 9:43:59 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: diogenes ghost; SandRat
"It's a damn poor mind indeed that can't think of at least two ways to spell a word"

Andrew Jackson, President of the United States.

9 posted on 05/27/2012 9:48:18 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SandRat

Job well done, Eagle Scout Michael Jones!

10 posted on 05/27/2012 4:53:25 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska ((~RIP Brian...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~))
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