We had our DAR Nevada Sagebrush Chapter board meeting tonight, and I had prepped the Agenda, so I should’ve known all the topics, but there was a slight adjustment. The very first thing that our regent wanted to discuss was the Northern Nevada Chapters Project (NNCP) – of which I had no idea – and so now I’m thinking, oh crap did I forget to do something? No. I didn’t.
Instead, Diane proceeds to tell the board that she and the vice regent, Sharal, had nominated the Hillside Cemetery Restoration Project as the Project for all three Northern Nevada Chapters. If accepted by all chapter board members, we will work together – Nevada Sagebrush, Sierra Nevada, and Washoe-Zephyr – to protect and preserve the Hillside Cemetery gravesites which are in danger of being exhumed (dug-up and moved) by the current land owner (Cemetery Authority).
When I learned this tonight, I was ecstatic, but it didn’t hit me until just now exactly what this decision means.
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook are aware that I have been volunteering at the Hillside Cemetery (next to the University of Nevada, Reno) on Saturday mornings to help clean, restore, and maintain various lots in the cemetery. I’ve been doing this because (a) it feels good to do something with my hands where I can see change on an old and forgotten piece of land, and (b) because I want to respect those who have passed on, and hopefully protect them from being exhumed.
Another chapter member, Vickie, joined me in this venture and did research to find out if any American Revolution descendants were in this cemetery – the oldest in Reno, NV – and the answer was, yes. Absolutely. And not only that, there are Civil War descendants, Indian Colony descendants, and deceased veterans.
With the decision to make the Hillside Cemetery Restoration project the NNCP, somehow, I have caused real change. Fran, who has been leading the Hillside Cemetery Preservation Foundation since it started – will no longer have to do this alone. Our DAR chapters are going to reach out to the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Union, the State Senator, and probably even the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in order to protect this site.
What hit me tonight is that I started this. I pursued the protection of this site. I posted photos, gave updates of when and where I would be at the cemetery, and I notified my board – my board who in their wisdom, chose to present the Hillside Cemetery to the Northern Nevada Chapters. Tonight, the board voted me in as Chairman of our chapter’s Historic Preservation Committee. All I can do now is pray that I earn their faith in me and my efforts, and that I do exactly as I set out to do: protect those who have earned their right to rest in peace.