An Up-lifting Event
Veteran’s Gravestones
An Up-lifting Event

In the City of Des Moines Municipal Cemeteries there are thousands of veteran’s graves that are marked by government issued gravestones. These include both upright markers as well as flush-mounted stones that are placed at or slightly below ground level.

Under extant city ordinances the care and maintenance of these stones are the responsibility of the family members of the veterans interred there. In many cases, those families have either passed on or have moved away from the area and there is now no one to make certain that those stones are maintained.

Local veterans groups as well as some fraternal organizations volunteer hundreds of man-hours every year to clean, straighten, and make certain that flags fly over the graves of our veterans from wars all the way from colonial times up to the modern day. Sadly these efforts are not enough and many hundreds of gravestones are is desperate need of assistance.

The Des Moines Parks and Recreations Department that oversees the seven municipal cemeteries in Des Moines have undertaken a program to enlist the aid of volunteers to spend a few hours of their time in the process of lifting and straightening several hundred in-ground stones so that new underlayment materials can be placed and the stones levelled. City workers will be on-hand at all times, and equipment and supplies will be provided. Participants should be in good physical health and capable of aiding in the lifting of approximately forty-pound markers as well as shoveling and tamping of sand and underlayment materials.

The first “work days” for this fall are tentatively scheduled for September 14th through 17th, from 9:00am to 3:30pm for Glendale Cemetery, 4909 University Avenue, in Des Moines.. Any amount of time that can be volunteered will be most helpful, and you need not be in attendance for the entire period of the event.

Individuals and/or groups wishing to volunteer to assist in this project, are asked to contact Ganesh Ganpat at Glendale Cemetery, 515-248-6320; or, e-mail him at gnganpat©, to learn more about this worthwhile endeavor.

David M. Lamb
Iowa Military Heritage Society
Board Member, Iowa Genealogical Society
Life Member, SAPIC
Committeeman, DM Cemeteries Vet’s. Stone Leveling Project

Posted by Cpl Stahr on Friday 08 July 2016 - 07:05:22 | LAN_THEME_20

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