Monday, February 25, 2013

This story appeared on WLBT. - Jackson, MS

Link to the video

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Piecing together history, that's what a group of Jackson boy scouts had an opportunity to do while digging through the dirt and placing shattered tombstones back intact in the Greenwood Cemetery.

"Some of us are re-touching the tombs the wet soil is making them dip down and tip over so we're trying to get them back straight up," said boy scout Lofton Gray.

Greenwood is Jackson's oldest cemetery dating back to the 1800's.

"Everybody was buried here all races all income levels there were paupers, the rich people, everybody," said Cecile Wardlaw, a member of the Greenwood Cemetery Association.

You can tell the cemetery's age by its decay in the headless tomb statues and unkempt shrubbery.

Greenwood is a landmark the boy scouts said will take the entire community to keep alive.

"Today we're not going to get everything done so anybody who can come out here and help would be good," said Gray.

Back in November vandals came through Greenwood tearing up numerous tombs and gravestones which the boy scouts are fixing up. Many of the tattered graves belong to historic Mississippians, including seven Governors.

"It shows us what the past is like, what people thought, how people decided to end their lives, what possessions they took with them and what they wanted their mark to be on earth after they were dead," said boy scout Pearce Robertson.

While cleaning up Greenwood, the boy scouts recognized that they were among many celebrated Mississippians, like Pulitzer Prize winner, Eudora Welty.

"Figured it would be a good idea to come out here re-do some stuff show some respect to those people," said Gray.

The boy scouts made a dent at Greenwood Saturday, but it's going to take the community to keep it from becoming a buried memory.

The Greenwood Cemetery Association is offering a $500 reward if you can help police catch the culprits from November's cemetery vandalism.