• Jasmine Chandler

Unmarked graves dedicated at Moultrie cemetery

In Moultrie, Ga., 2,000 recently discovered unmarked graves were dedicated to the community. This heartfelt event happened on Feb. 2, 2019. This discovery and the loss of these unmarked graves represents an opportunity for each and everyone in the community to move forward.

Caretaker John Strong Jr., explained the discovery of the graves. He was hired last September as caretaker of the St. James Pallbearers Cemetery and began finding graves in the month of December while cleaning the graves in a section of the cemetery that had been overgrown trees and power lines. As he continued to clean, he began to dig into the root of the tree and hit concrete. He then realized that he had just hit a headstone that had be buried. Soon after he dug the headstone up, he found more headstones buried under one another.

The following Saturday morning, a section of the cemetery graves were dedicated as a "Field of Honor." Some people who had been buried there had head stones, and some didn't. These graves dated as far back to the 1800s. Some the graves are still unknown even with the gravestones that were found.

Strong suggested to put wooden crosses on the unmarked graves. As a result, Rev. Cornelius Ponder Pastor of Greater Newton Grove Cathedral sent a truckload of wood for the crosses.

"Never again will a car be able to come in here; people will be able to walk and it will be open from sun up to sun down ... so people can appreciate it,” the Moultrie Observer reported.

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