Updated Cemetery Records lead to Thousands more Veterans to be Honored on Veterans Day
W H A T | Adorned gravesites of deceased veterans
W H E N | Wednesday, November 11, 2020
W H E R E | Gate of Heaven Cemetery: 11000 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati OH 45349
Veteran gravesites will be adorned with American flags this year at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11. More than 6,300 American veterans are buried throughout the 160 acres at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. The flags were placed by more than 100 volunteers on Monday, November 9, and Tuesday, November 10. The flags will remain at the gravesites until Tuesday, November 17.
An initiative began in 2019 to locate and recognize every veteran gravesite at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. The undertaking was a collaboration between VALOR and Gate of Heaven Cemetery. VALOR is a group of veterans and veteran supporters employed at Cincinnati Bell. That year, American flags were placed at veteran gravesites for Memorial Day. As a result of this effort, it was determined that many records regarding interred veterans were incomplete due to not having their veteran status. In 2020, 67 VALOR members and their families canvassed more than 50,000 graves at Gate of Heaven Cemetery over several months to find an additional 3,326 veterans! All records have now been updated and additional veteran grave markers are planned.
“We are very grateful for the partnership with VALOR. Gate of Heaven Cemetery practices the spiritual work of mercy of caring for the resting place of deceased members of the Church and the work VALOR has done to assist in a proper, comprehensive tribute to deceased veterans is greatly appreciated,” said Ryan Walsman, Sales and Marketing Manager at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
“We plan to continue this annual event on future Memorial Days. We also plan to work with Gate of Heaven to place veteran markings on the graves that are currently not marked as veterans,” said Chris Lane, Senior Director of Strategic Operations at Cincinnati Bell and VALOR volunteer.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 44th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with more than 450,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with more than 40,000 students. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.