30,000 Veterans Buried in Columbus' Green Lawn Cemetery
Columbus's Green Lawn Cemetery has about 30,000 veterans buried on its grounds. Every year volunteers try as best they can to decorate all the graves of service men and women with an American flag. The process starts several days in advance.
"Anybody see Morton Kevall?"
"How are you spelling it?"
"It's down the middle there."
Last Friday Al Tyroler was using a checklist and a map to help find graves that needed to be honored, something he says he's been doing for the past 53 years. He and Joe Cohen are members of Capital Post 122 - Jewish War Veterans.
"It's normally the responsibility of veterans organizations to foresee the decorating the graves on Memorial Day," Cohen says. Early Saturday morning a couple working by themselves were placing flags in Section 105, decorating the graves of World War 2 and Korean veterans.
"My name is Paul Gardner."
"And I'm Gloria Ballard."
"We are just showing our gratitude to these soldiers who gave their lives for our country," Gardner said.
Said Ballard, "Well, I tell you what. I'd want somebody to remember me."
Civil War veterans were saluted Saturday morning by members of the Sons of Union Veterans with ceremonies that included readings, a rifle salute and with Taps.
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce was the featured speaker at a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning at Green Lawn. In her remarks she remembered Ohioans who served in the Civil War and more recent veterans.
"During the American Civil War Ohio was third only to the more populous states of New York and Pennsylvania in the number of men proudly serving," Pryce said. "During World War 2, roughly 839,000 Ohioans - 12 percent of the state's entire population in 1940, served in the armed forces during that conflict. And more than 23,000 of them died or were missing in action by the war's conclusion."
Pryce, a Republican, was the featured speaker in the program that was sponsored by the American Legion, the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission and Green Lawn Cemetery.
"We pause to honor those brave service men and women who dedicated their lives to the freedom of others; for our freedoms. From the Revolutionary war to today's heroes in the war on terror, Memorial Day is America's sacrosanct remembrance of men and women who perished in our struggles to defend our nation and to preserve freedom all around the world. And it's truly appropriate that we are here to honor them," Pryce said.
At the close of the ceremony, the 2nd Brigade Honor Guard and Firing Party, commanded by Col. John Fair, gave the deceased a 21-gun salute.