Volunteers Gather To Clean, Desegregate Veteran Cemetery

Saturday, July 22nd 2017, 4:24 pm
By: Grant Hermes

In the heat of an Oklahoma summer, most choose to stay inside. But Saturday morning, dozens sacrificed the comfort of air conditioning to honor a sacrifice much greater.

“It's a cemetery that has veterans buried on both sides since the Civil War,” Scotty Dee, executive director of Honoring America’s Warriors, said.

Volunteers with HAW and the Logan County Young Marines joined to make sure the veterans laid to rest at Evansville Cemetery in southeastern Logan County are taken care of, even if it's only just their name.

“It's pretty cool because we expected that we would have a lot of volunteers," Dee said, "(L)ooks like we got a little over 100 out here today.”

The gravesites fell into disrepair, with tall grass and weathered stone concealing an ugly secret. The cemetery was still segregated after all these years. Soldiers who stood shoulder to shoulder are unable to do the same in death because of the color of their skin.

“We all got together today,” Gregory Rupert with the Young Marines said, "and not only cleaned up this place, this scared place, but we tore down the fence."

“We took the fence down that segregated the cemetery,” Dee said, holding up a piece of the worn, wire fence. “This is it right here. Here's a little piece of it. Some folks want souvenirs and we'll make sure they get one.”

Souvenirs meant to be reminders, that when it comes to service and sacrifice, the only colors that matter are red, white, and blue.