Vet cemetery dedication ceremony Monday

December 26, 2013 • Local News

Improvements were completed on a cul-de-sac on property earmarked for a new veterans cemetery at South Park Cemetery. [auth] The site will be dedicated at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Dec. 30. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)

Roswell-Chaves County Veterans Cemetery will be dedicated Monday, Dec. 30, during a groundbreaking ceremony at its newly improved site at South Park Cemetery.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. and feature proclamations by Mayor Del Jurney, Rep. Steve Pearce and Ret. Col. Ron McKay.

The Veterans Cemetery Board expects to propose to name the cemetery the Roswell-McBride Veterans Cemetery to honor the McBride Family, McKay said.

The family dedicated the 20-acre parcel, adjacent to South Park Cemetery, that the group hopes will eventually become a state-recognized official veterans cemetery.

“That’s what we’d like to name it,” McKay said.

The city recently allocated $75,000 to pay for improvements to install a water system, sprinklers, electrical work and a drive-up area.

The veterans board decided to start development on at least a 1-acre parcel to begin burials, with the expectation that the site will expand an additional 5-acres in the near future. The city agreed to provide maintenance at the cemetery in perpetuity.

The cemetery board plans to submit an application to the state to gain future approval as one of four sites in the State Veterans Cemetery Initiative. The city hopes to recoup its costs if the cemetery is chosen as one of the sites for the initiative.

The city has completed the cul-de-sac and a sprinkler system should be in place by February, said Bert Eldridge, a member of the cemetery board. The sod will be brought in from Amarillo and then flag poles will be installed.

The site has progressed rapidly, Eldridge said.

“It’s going along real good,” he said. “Once (the city) decided to get in with us, it’s been going along pretty good.”

Anyone who is still in possession of the cremated remains of their loved ones who have served and would like to bury them at the new cemetery should contact McKay at Ink Plus, 575-627-8069.

The cemetery board hopes to help bury as many veterans as possible once the site is opened.

“We’re going to have a bunch (of burials) the first week,” Eldridge said.

Donations can also be made to the Veterans Cemetery at Embrace Inc., P.O. Box 4425, 88202.

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