Vol­un­teers pitch in at field of hon­our

The Drumheller Mail - - SPRING HOME & GARDEN GUIDE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail mailphoto by Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Eric Dahl, a crew of vol­un­teers and some spe­cial guests spent Sat­ur­day, May 12 at the Drumheller Ceme­tery clean­ing vet­eran graves.

Dahl, who has founded Mem­ory Keep­ers, be­gan tidy­ing graves on his own, and has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of Drumheller res­i­dents. His ef­forts have been no­ticed by na­tional me­dia, and he had a great turnout of vol­un­teers Sat­ur­day morn­ing.

“It is phe­nom­e­nal that peo­ple care enough to donate their time to be able to do this and be­lieve in this project, to share their time on a beau­ti­ful Sat­ur­day morn­ing,” he told The Mail. “There are a lot of things peo­ple could be do­ing, but they chose to spend their time here to hon­our our vet­er­ans, our mil­i­tary.”

Some sup­port­ers were not able to come out and help in­clud­ing for­mer res­i­dent Mary Guter­son Camp­bell who sent along a let­ter of sup­port and funds to keep the vol­un­teers en­er­gized.

Dahl be­gan the day with a walk­ing tour of the site, point­ing out the Fields of Hon­our as well as the im­por­tant places in the ceme­tery in­clud­ing a com­mu­nity grave that was used at the time of the Span­ish Flu Epi­demic of 1918.

“Ev­ery stone is a page of a book, and you get to walk through that book, and th­ese names stick with you,” he said. “It is not hard to re­search the names and find out who th­ese men were.”

Dahl and the vol­un­teers also took the time to mark the graves with flags. Many of the vet­er­ans in the ceme­tery are not Cana­dian, but from all over the world, and fought in the same causes.

Some of the guests at the ceme­tery in­cluded mem­bers of the Drumheller Le­gion, in­clud­ing Lloyd Ki­pling, who is bat­tling can­cer. He came from Cal­gary to mark the oc­ca­sion. There was also mem­ber­ship from the Cana­dian Army Vet­eran Mo­tor­cy­cle in at­ten­dance.

“We have a vet­eran who just moved to Drumheller, we have rep­re­sen­ta­tives of busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions both lo­cal and out of town,” he said.

His in­ter­est in tak­ing on the project came sim­ply from walk­ing through the Drumheller Ceme­tery. He saw how ne­glected the graves were.

“No­body had ever taken the time to come out here and tidy it up a bit, not that I have seen. I went to this high school over 30 years ago, and I passed this ceme­tery hun­dreds of times and I just al­ways thought of do­ing it, so it was a good time to start.”

He hopes to make nual event. it an an-

Eric Dahl lead a pro­ces­sion of vol­un­teers on a tour of the Drumheller Ceme­tery be­fore they set to work clean­ing vet­er­ans’ graves last Sat­ur­day, May 12.

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