When the Johnson Cemetery near the hospital came into view last November, the Legion Riders Post 702 didn’t like what they saw.
The cemetery which dates from the 1840s has over 400 graves including those of many veterans. Each year near Memorial Day the Legion places flags on the graves of veterans buried there. According to historians 37 Civil War veterans and one veteran from the War of 1812 are buried in the cemetery. The last burial there was in 2007.
At Wednesday’s town board meeting Supervisor Shad Alsworth told the board that the Legion Riders Post 702 have stepped forward and proposed restoring the dignity of the site and those who are buried there.
Dennis White, director of the American Legion Riders Post 702 wrote Alsworth, saying, “The Johnson Cemetery is long overdue for attention. There are over 400 people interred in Johnson with 28 of them being veterans. Many of the stones have fallen over, need to be straightened and headstones put back on the graves. It is our goal to show respect to all who are buried in the Cemetery veterans and non and to give them dignity they deserve.”
While working on the Johnson Cemetery, the Riders will also be working on the Bellamy Hill cemetery. Alsworth praised the vets for their action and the board passed a resolution approving the work. The Riders propose sponsoring fundraisers for any costs they may have in restoring the cemeteries. Alsworth said that like the Riders, he hopes the public will step up and support the fundraisers. Any and all donations will be accepted.