The American Memorial Park Cemetery, the oldest black cemetery in Grand Prairie, has been neglected over the years, but not anymore.
The American Memorial Park Cemetery has been neglected over the years, but not anymore. Volunteers helped clean up the site just days before Veterans Day.
Monday, Nov 11, 2013 Updated at 9:39 AM CDT
The grass has been mowed and garbage is being picked up but there's much to be done. Beyond some trees and overgrown brush is an illegal dumping ground. But there are also graves there.
"Over there are a lot of veterans that served in World War I and World War II and slave graves and it's been disregarded and something need to be done about it," said Charles Harrison, a 70-year-old lifelong Grand Prairie resident who said getting the cemetery back in shape, where some of his family members have been laid to rest, has become a priority in his life. "On that side up there is my mother, my brother, my sister.”
The city's Keep Grand Prairie Beautiful group said it will take some time but it's on their radar. For now, volunteers are showing up to do what they can today.
"It's been a major change with the city involvement," said Harrison.
Along with the clean-up, volunteers placed American flags on veteran's graves since Veterans Day is Monday. This would not have happened otherwise.
"Across Mountain Creek Lake we have the DFW Veterans Cemetery and I would like to see the veterans that are laid to rest here have the same type of respect," said Angela Luckey, the president of the Grand Prairie NAACP.
The American Memorial Park Cemetery's been around since the late 1700's and people with relatives buried there said it must be preserved.