For over a decade, NAMI Athens and the Ridges Cemeteries Committee have been organizing Memorial Day Ceremonies at the old Mental Hospital Cemeteries on the Ridges. The purpose is to stigma-bust – to underscore the fact that persons buried there were human beings who deserve our respect.
This year’s ceremony featured welcoming remarks by Athens Mayor Steve Patterson, a scriptural reading by Episcopal Rev. Deborah Woolsey, songs by Sharell Arocho, taps by Carolyn Cade, a veterans’ honor guard led by Joe Mulligan, and the laying of wreaths with eulogies by Judge George McCarthy and Diane Pfaff of the 317 Board. The Eulogies and wreaths were for Civil War veteran Sergeant Major John E Bartram and teacher/housewife/mother Emma Dye Savage. Several descendants of Emma Savage were present to help place the wreath and display a photo board with images of Emma’s many descendants.
More information about this event can be found in The Athens Messenger.