Confederate group wants to maintain cemetery

By Ray Daudani, NBC12 News

The Sons of Confederate Veterans says it would like to take over maintenance at
Oakwood Cemetery, but it cannot get a go-ahead from the city.

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans say they will do the maintenance,
they’ll pay for it out of their own funds and the city can keep the title.

It’s just the sort of deal Mayor Doug Wilder’s efficiency and effectiveness
committee recommended. But the SCV can’t even get a meeting with the busy

John Peter Huff died 145 years ago today. His grandson Charles Huff came from
Georgia to find his grave, but can’t be sure he’s buried at Oakwood.

“I can’t find out because the graves aren’t properly marked.
So there’s no way of knowing,” Charles Huff said.

The unmarked graves are just one issue. Last week vandals struck Oakwood once

“This has become an object of both affection for us and also sadness
because it hasn’t been maintained and it hasn’t been taken care
of,” said Brad Bowling of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

It’s clear the Sons of Confederate Veterans has the commitment to take
over maintenance of the site. Members also have the know-how.

Just compare the repair work it’s doing here to the city’s repair

“They’re using Gorilla Glue to bond some of the broken monuments.
Gorilla Glue is not the proper material,” Bowling said.

The SCV has the money and state’s blessing too, thanks to legislation
passed in the General Assembly last year.

“We are ready to roll. We’ve got nearly $100,000 in the bank waiting,”
Bowling said.

The group can’t wait to spring that money into action. But what it doesn’t
have is the city’s authorization to get rolling so that people like Charles
can honor their past.

And after an hour searching under the hot sun for the grave, Charles gave up.

The SCV is still holding out hope.

The city has received the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ proposal but
hasn’t done anything with it.

The SCV just hopes to meet with Wilder and convince him it can save the city
$30,000 a year in maintenance costs.

(c) 2007. WWBT, Inc.

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