Walt's Look Around: A cemetery resurrection - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: A cemetery resurrection

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LOWNDES COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Another old cemetery has gotten a new life, this one is in Lowndes County north of Columbus. The resurrection of this cemetery has led to a special recognition coming up this Veterans Day.

It's a country church-cemetery combination, but it's not that simple. Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church was organized when the Vaughn family donated about 5 acres for it in the 1830s.

But when Judge Perkins gave an additional 5 acres across the road in the 1850s, the church eventually relocated to the new ground and the original acreage was designated a cemetery and named for the Vaughn family.

The church has been restored back to what it looked like when it was built in 1892, with no modern utilities. At about the same time, the cemetery was restored, too.

Martha Jo Mims, a trustee for the Vaughn Cemetery, says there was one specific area that they especially wanted put back right.

"We wanted to reclaim an African-American cemetery that adjoined the white section" said Mims. "It was totally grown over with trees and brush."

 Lardell Shaw:

"Trees and everything was all over the place" added Lardell Shaw.

"Shaw, who has family buried in the cemetery, immediately caught the vision for restoring the cemetery to what it once was and began recruiting help.

We got some people form various churches to come out and start working" added Shaw. "And meanwhile Ms. Mims, she was right there with us at all time. She really worked." 

We fast-forward several years of tree cutting and brush hauling and grass mowing, until today, when most of the graves have been reclaimed from the brush. And a significant thing about this cemetery is there are veterans buried here from pretty much every war this nation has been involved in from the war of 1812 up until Korea.

Many of the flags over the veteran's graves are flying in the African-American section. And the veterans buried here have given the cemetery a special recognition for which the will have a special ceremony on Veterans Day this year, a dedication as being a part of the Blue Star Memorial by-way.  

But it's more than the veterans. It's the parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents and great-grandparents who are here that are remembered by the care we give them.

"Those things should never be forgotten" added Shaw. "So, it means a lot to refresh and bring that back up in the mind of the community. And they are very proud of it." 

A cemetery resurrected is the past remembered, and the people who brought us here honored, for the job they did; and a reminder of the expectations they have of us to carry on what they started.

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