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Have you ever noticed the blue line painted on the road near Daffodil Hill? Following this line, you will eventually come to a four-way stop, and there in the distance, our Veterans Section comes into view.
While cemeteries remind us of individual loss, standing here among the graves of our service men and women also reminds us of our collective strength. This honored ground, is a place for comfort and peace, for contemplation and healing.
Designating this special area is just one of the ways Lake View pays tribute to veterans throughout the year. With 9,000 veterans buried throughout the cemetery, every day at Lake View is Veterans Day.
The rain was relentless and cold, hands were red, and papers clung together like glue. Despite Mother Nature’s attempts to thwart the cause, 100 volunteers were undeterred as they searched for veterans’ graves to place an American flag upon in preparation for Memorial Day.
Lake View had never attempted a project of this magnitude. Placing a flag at each of the 8,000 graves over a three-day weekend. Organized by our summer intern, Quentin Kaminski, the volunteers assembled for this yeoman’s task consisted of individuals, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and school groups. Each was assigned a section of the cemetery and received a map and a box of flags.
Given the weather challenges, Quentin was very pleased with the success of this first endeavor. Seeing this project through from start to finish was not only a professional achievement but gave Quentin satisfaction on a more personal level.
“My great-grandpa and great uncle served, and my grandpa served in Korea,” Quentin delights in his family history. “I was close with those relatives and learned so much about their military stories over the years. This project made me proud and was the least I could do to acknowledge my family and other veterans.”
Next May we will again venture to place flags on all veterans’ graves. If you would like to volunteer for this gratifying event, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1868, one year before the founding of Lake View Cemetery, the first Memorial Day address (known then as Decoration Day) was given at Arlington National Cemetery. The speech was delivered by General James A. Garfield, then a member of Congress, and later our 20th President. It is fitting then, that every Memorial Day since Garfield was buried at Lake View Cemetery, we have observed the holiday on the lawn of the building in his honor.
After a modified observance in 2020, we were thrilled to welcome visitors back in person for this year’s celebration. Guests once again filled the lawn as the haunting melody of taps pierced the silence of the day. Boy Scouts raised the flag for the singing of the National Anthem. Descendants of President Garfield were in attendance to assist veterans’ groups in placing wreaths at the foot of the American flag. Our Master of Ceremonies was Terry Whalen from Lincoln Financial Advisors, and our Keynote speech came from long-time friend of Lake View, Chris Ronayne, former President & CEO of University Circle Inc.
Dedicated to honoring veterans by beautifying their final resting places, Saluting Branches consists of tree care and landscaping professionals. In the past, their work was focused exclusively at veterans’ cemeteries, but thanks to Chad Clink, Master Arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts, Lake View became the lucky beneficiary of their services as well. “As a former site manager for Western Reserve National Cemetery, I had a pre-existing relationship with Saluting Branches,” Chad reveals how the non-profit brought their work to Lake View. “I shared with them how historic Lake View was and that I thought they should make time to help out. Happily, they had faith in me, and they agreed to do it!” On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, representatives from A Cut Above, Bartlett Tree Experts, Davey Tree, and Western Reserve Land Conservancy arrived bright and early to focus their work on Sections 24 and 25. Projects included tree removal, structural support, and general tree health care.
With Ohio Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, OH being the closest cemetery designated to veterans, Lake View saw the need to establish a special section to thank and support veterans who have honorably served. In 2007, Lake View dedicated our Veterans Section and established our Honored Forever Program, in which honorably discharged veterans can receive a free burial space and marker. These offerings have a value of $995. If a veteran’s needs require space that can accommodate family members or they just prefer to be elsewhere in the cemetery, Lake View will discount their chosen space with that same $995.
If you are interested in our Honored Forever Program, please contact Andrew Bales, Vice President of Family Services, 216.421.2665 / email@example.com
As one of Cleveland’s oldest cultural institutions, Lake View has a responsibility to preserve and interpret the history that is represented within our gates. Improvements to the Veterans Section will provide new opportunities for Lake View to honor our history and the stories of the men and women whose sacrifices allow us to celebrate our freedoms.
“Having a dedicated section at Lake View to honor veterans is the least we can do, and I think it’s so important that those who reside in and around Cleveland have an option close to home to lay their loved one to rest.” – Andrew Bales
“Having a dedicated section at Lake View to honor veterans is the least we can do, and I think it’s so important that those who reside in and around Cleveland have an option close to home to lay their loved one to rest,” Andrew Bales, Vice President of Family Services, talks about the importance of having a section dedicated to veterans.
“Most people know that Lake View does an excellent job honoring the history of figures known world-wide like Rockefeller, President Garfield or Eliot Ness. What Lake View also excels at is telling the stories of people from all walks of life. The contributions these veterans made or the impact they had on our world can’t be found in a simple Google search. Our interactions with families burying a veteran afford us the privilege to learn about these great men and women first-hand.”
Unlike Arlington and other National Veterans Cemeteries, Lake View does not receive funding for our Veterans Section from the Government. Lake View relies on the generosity of individuals and friends like you to continue to preserve and protect this sacred space so that we may continue to honor or veterans now and for eternity.
We invite you to join us in our ongoing efforts to salute our veterans, today and every day.
Please consider making a gift in honor or in memory of your personal heroes. Leave your indelible mark on history. If you would like more information on supporting our Veterans Section, or would like to hear about our naming opportunities, please contact our Foundation Team to start the conversation.
Leah Whidden, Executive Director | 216.453.0958
Greta Rothman, Director of Development | 216.453.0990
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