Veterans not properly honored at City cemetery - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/10/09

Veterans not properly honored at City cemetery

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - On Wednesday, the United States will honor its military veterans. But, here in Lubbock more than 100 veterans have gone unnoticed for years, with no recognition for serving our country.

There is a section in the Lubbock cemetery where the county buries most those who can't afford a proper burial or who have no next of kin to bury them. Unfortunately it's there where many of those forgotten veterans are laid to rest.

Joseph Knight isn't one of those forgotten. His headstone stands as a monument to his achievement. He's one of three at the cemetery to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor - the highest honor an individual can get.

But not all veterans here are getting the honor they deserve like Knight. "There's veterans buried here with no marker and nothing to remember them by or to mark their passing as being a veteran. And this is all that's left of Mr. Lee Brown," says Lubbock City Councilman Paul Beane, referring to one marker.

About 150 veterans lay beneath these markers with names, some fading away like their memories - tiny memorials for such huge heroes. "I don't know anything about Lee Brown but I know enough to know he served our country and I think this is an unfitting remembrance,” said Beane.

Councilman Beane and several others are working to restore the memories of these past soldiers and to give them the proper headstones they've earned. "There's no designation that they have ever served our country and I think that's a tragedy in itself," said Beane.

The Veterans Administration provides these monuments for free. The only thing keeping Mr. Lee Brown from having a headstone like Major John Swindle’s is paperwork from next of kin. "Many of these people that are buried here have no families that we can find," said Beane.

The cemetery is dedicated to saving these veterans memories, just as these men and women dedicated their lives to saving ours.

The cemetery says they are well on their way to getting these fallen heroes the monuments they deserve. The Veterans Administration is letting the cemetery bypass some of the needed paper work from family members to get these veterans the headstones they need.

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