Volunteers pitch in at field of honour
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.