By TOM HENRY
As published in the November 5, 2016 Blytheville Courier News.
I want to thank the City of Blytheville for hearing the plea I made in my column entitled “North Sawba is a complete travesty.” I am proud to announce that Friday it was mowed in a joint partnership between the Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Works Department. This was done after the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee ordered it done during their Thursday evening meeting.
Numerous people have contacted me expressing their sorrow over the condition that the cemetery was in. They discussed how their mothers, sisters, loved ones and heroes were buried out there but could not be honored or visited because of the growth. Now they can.
I received letters and documents that discussed previous efforts, by area citizens that are now passed on themselves, to develop a plan of perpetual upkeep. I am very excited that this clean up has occurred, but I plea once again that it become a permanent perpetual upkeep plan.
Friday Parks and Recreation director Elroy Brown told the CN, “ We at the Parks Department and the Public Works Department will do whatever it takes to keep it up. If that means mowing, weed-eating, spraying or whatever, it will be done. It was just something that fell through the cracks and we get better.”
Mr. Brown and Mr. Key, in the name of the loved ones that have mourned the condition of their family’s final resting place, I give you a hearty “Thank you!” And for the ones that are interred out there, I give you both a big “God bless you!”
This is yet another reminder of what can be done when people simply do what is right. Also, in anticipation of budget talks, I call upon area state legislators to help locate some GIF funds to help with the upkeep. I also call upon area scouts or non-profits to help in the upkeep. Brown even mentioned the possibility of utilizing correctional labor to help. If everyone does a little, then it’s not too much for any one person and it will indeed be perpetual. Again, thank you City of Blytheville.