There is a big thank you on the back page of the paper today. That thank you goes to all the volunteers who spent time on the No Grave Unadorned Project this year.
After three years of sponsoring this project, we at the newspaper are eternally grateful to all those volunteers. We are amazed at the enthusiasm of the groups and individuals participating.
And in case any of you are thinking that no one is noticing, except us, you are completely wrong.
I was at the Price Cemetery on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and I got a number of compliments from people who talked to me about the project, despite the fact it was a very blustery day.
But that wasn't all. With social media being what it is today, many many comments came into the paper about what the volunteers had achieved. Many were directed at the paper, but really they apply more to all of you who gave your time.
Here are some of them.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, as someone who can't get back to Price to put flowers on my parents' and grandparents' graves, it is comforting to know that a flower has been placed there and that they are not forgotten," Carol Degn Skeels.
"It was very heartwarming to see the cemetery in Huntington with a flower on every grave. Even the very very old ones. Awesome job!" Tina Hilliard Maldonado.
"My father in law is buried in Helper. Thank you," Gloria Valdez.
"The cemeteries look absolutely beautiful! Thank you all for the hard work put into doing this! It truly means a lot to a lot of people!! Thanks, again!!" Amy Olsen Ganser.
"This story brought tears to my eye. From my home in Layton, I (and my sons and grandchildren) drove to Price and visited the Price and Ferron Cemeteries on Sunday with my 90 year old Mother (Dorothy Burdis). We have lots of relatives who immigrated from Crete or walked over the plains with Brigham Young. They endured many hardships settling the harsh land and served in many wars. We have a family tradition to honor their sacrifices with flowers on Memorial Day. The "Price Flower" on every grave was very noticeable and it was great to see long neglected graves with at least one flower. Thanks Richard and all of the volunteers who did this. It means a lot to the Burdis and Petty families," Rosemary Kappes.
These comments came from Facebook, but I also got numerous thanks and "good jobs' from others through notes and emails.
What actually brought out some strong response was the story that FOX 13 did on the Memorial Day night news. They came on the Friday before Memorial Day and interviewed me and some volunteers about the project. Once again it brought recognition to what a great community this is and how people step up when volunteers are needed.
Phone messages also came in, including the one below that referred to that story.
"We appreciate the No Grave Unadorned Project. We live in Salt Lake and saw it on the news. We can't always make it to the graves. Thanks for what you do," Mrs. Morgan.
So those who helped do this in eastern Utah should pat themselves on the back. While the television story seemed to focus more than I would have liked on me as an individual, I hope that it hopes to dispel some of the negative stories that always seem to permeate the news upstate about our great communities.
So the project will continue next year too. We would like to get a little more organized and have some ideas for making the project even better. But we need the communities help in some leadership roles to do that.
As of today, I am asking anyone who would like to participate in a guidance committee for the project to call up or email me and I will put your name on a list for that board. We will begin meeting in January 2013 and with your input, we will make the project next year better than ever.
To contact me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and leave me a message at 435 637-0732 Ext. 23.