Headstones to honor forgotten Veterans arrive in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/18/09

Headstones to honor forgotten Veterans arrive in Lubbock

By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) –  Plans are under way to honor the forgotten men and women who have served our country. About a month ago, we told you that City of Lubbock Cemetery staffers ordered headstones to properly honor our country's veterans.

"He was the first monument we ordered and the first package opened," says Sylvia Chapa. She ordered a tribute no one else bothered to give.

The first one was for Mr. Craig. "He was homeless and had no family and was supposed to be buried by the county," says Chapa. But James Orin Craig did serve our country.

"We couldn't have received a better Christmas present. I'm excited about the possibility of honoring these folks who gave so much to our country and got so little in return," says Councilman Paul Beane.

"When he passed away on November 3rd I remembered his name," Chapa remembered because she met Craig five years ago when he came to visit his Dad's graveside.

"He looked down and out on his luck and I took him to the site and said here is your dad," recalls Chapa about their conversation who says Craig pointed to his grave site.  

Chapa and many others including Beane will continue to honor the forgotten.

 "There is so much information on so many of them and it is just lost," says Beane about the complicated process to ordering a headstone.

There are 156 veterans buried at the cemetery are all on the list to receive a headstone, and currently almost nothing honors their service. Craig was buried on Veteran's Day next to his father.

"No one was there but the funeral director. It was say and that is why we are doing this," says Chapa.

Soon Craig's modest grave marker will be replaced by a marble headstone.

"This project has taken three years. It may be another three before all 156 get here, but I think it will happen," says Chapa.

The cemetery says a ceremony to place the headstones will most likely take place sometime in mid-January.

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