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Dear Friends of Lexington Odd Fellows Cemetery, Inc.,

With the approach of Memorial Day, you may be interested to learn that the holiday, which heralds the beginning of summer, was previously known as Decoration Day. Although there are many claims and myths associated with its origin, the Center for Civil War Research at the University of Mississippi purports that Sue Landon Adams Vaughn founded Decoration Day by first decorating the graves of Confederate and Federal soldiers alike in a Jackson cemetery on April 26, 1865. Seventeen days earlier, Lee had surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Some time ago, Kathleen Hooker Waldrop suggested that we create a database of veterans buried at LOFC, so that we could honor them in an appropriate and fitting manner. We are pleased to announce that this capability has been added to the Memorials section of the website. Now we need your help in providing the pertinent information, so that it can be added to the records of any veteran. If you know of a family member or friend who served in the military, please email me at atailyour@bellsouth.net the name of service (Army, including Women's Army Corps, Navy including Waves, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard), the years served, the final rank, and the war/campaign, and it will be added to the record. If you do not have complete information, send me what you know is correct and certain, so that we can at least list the person as a veteran. Please no inflation of rank! We have decided to also include the Red Cross, as they provided a helping hand and a smiling face to combat soldiers who needed a lot of both. Once we have sufficient entries in the database, we will create a Veterans' Section, where one can view the names of veterans buried at LOFC. It is an ambitious project but will be a means to honor those men and women who faithfully served.

You may further want to honor a veteran this Memorial Day by donating in his or her memory. If so, please send a check made payable to LOFC, Post Office Box 1213, Lexington, MS 39095 or visit our website and make an on-line donation using a credit card at https://lexingtonoddfellowscemetery.com/donate

After a rather financially bleak month of March, we are pleased to announce that we received $9,737 in April, with several new donors joining the rank of supporters of LOFC. Please take the time to review the names on the Donor page, and when you see them, thank them for their support of our historic cemetery. And if your name is not amongst the Donors, please consider becoming one.

Finally, in anticipation of Fathers’ Day on June 21, we would like to feature fathers or grandfathers buried at LOFC, as we did mothers and grandmothers on Mothers’ Day and received positive responses. If you have a memory or short story that you would like to send me, I will try to collate as many of them as possible in the June Newsletter. As an example, Patty Povall Lewis shared the following of our father Allie: “My first memory of Daddy was in Galveston, Texas, when he was serving with the Army Coastal Artillery. I would race along the sidewalk on my trusty trike to greet my handsome hero in his khaki uniform.”

Like our ancestors who had to navigate similar perilous times, whether settling in a hazardous and unknown frontier called Mississippi, the Civil War, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, Vietnam and more recently the global financial crash of 2007-2008, we must take heart, for out of the chaos there are always positives -- the clear blue skies absent pollution and humidity granting us the most beautiful spring that I have ever known in Mississippi, the quiet time that we can enjoy with someone that we love, and the faith that many of us share that with God's help we will survive and get though what lies ahead.

Amanda Povall Tailyour, Editor