Old Soldiers Cemetery Cleanup

The Madison County Boys and Girls Club with the help of various civic and church groups helped to clean up the Old Soldiers Cemetery on Four Mile Road in Richmond, KY.

Cleanup workers signed in as they arrived. The Boys and Girls Club maintained a record of the participants to share with the National Youth Service Day and the Disney Han: Worldwide Outreach for The Walt Disney Company. Both of these organizations provided support for this service day.

Some read about the history of the Old Soldiers Cemetery and other had coffee in the morning.

Prior to leaving for the Old Soldiers Cemetery the group had breakfast.

Happy faces during breakfast.

Connie Lawson, the mayor of Richmond, greeted those participating in the cleanup project.

The mayor visited with the boys and girls before they left for work.

Various group shots were made before work began.

Some of the Old Soldiers Cemetery was greatly overgrown.

Many gravestones were covered with brush and some knocked over.

One grave plot was surrounded by a fence covered with brush.

There were plenty of weeds and brush to cut.

Fortunately there were several young men who had the muscle power to move large logs.

Tarps helped move brush and limbs to the truck provided by the City of Richmond for the cleanup project.

Uncovering some gravestones was a major task

Dwight McMullin, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond brought his trimmers and waded into the brush.

C.D. Reese (standing) the Governor of the Kentucky-Tennessee District of Kiwanis which has more than 7,000 member, and Dr. Kim Naugel, president of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond, visit with boys and girls club members after the cleanup.

Giving the pick a rest on the gravestone of Gertrude Walker, an aunt of a WW II Tuskegee Airman of World War II.

"Tuskegee Airmen" refers to all who were involved in the so-called "Tuskegee Experiment," the Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air.

The military selected Tuskegee Institute to train pilots because of its commitment to aeronautical training. Tuskegee had the facilities, and engineering and technical instructors, as well as a climate for year round flying. The first Civilian Pilot Training Program students completed their instruction in May 1940. The Tuskegee program was then expanded and became the center for African-American aviation during World War II.

The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II. They proved conclusively that African Americans could fly and maintain sophisticated combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen's achievements, together with the men and women who supported them, paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military.

To see additional photos of the Old Soldiers Cemetery cleanup click here


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