Another Memorial Day Stigma Buster on the Ridges

Gun salute by Veterans commanded by Joe Mullegan.

Gun salute by Veterans commanded by Joe Mullegan. Courtesy of Dennis Powell, The Athens News.

For over a decade, The Ridges Cemeteries Committee and NAMI Athens have been organizing Memorial Day Ceremonies at the old Mental Hospital cemeteries at the Ridges. As always, the primary objective has been to fight stigma against the mentally ill – to underscore the fact that the people buried there were human beings who deserve our respect.

Walking wreath to Spencer grave

Walking wreath to Spencer grave. Courtesy of Dennis Powell, The Athens News.

Jenny Hughes placing the Wreathe for grandfather, John Spencer.

Jenny Hughes placing the wreath for grandfather, John Spencer. Photo by Dennis Powell, The Athens News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The master of ceremonies for the occasion – which took place under sunny skies – was Adrienne Nagy. The opening remarks were given by Mayor Steve Patterson. There was a scriptural reading by Rev. Deborah Woolsey. Songs were by Tasha Attaway.  Taps was played by Carolyn Cade. A Veterans’ Honor Guard commanded by Joe Mulligan provided a note of military solemnity. Wreaths were placed and eulogies were read by Jenny Hughes, Andrea Frohne, Earl Cecil, and John Butcher for civilian John Spencer and veteran John Martin.

The event received coverage in the May 30 edition of The Athens News.

Rev. Deborah Woolsey, Church of the Good Shepherd.

Rev. Deborah Woolsey, Church of the Good Shepherd. Courtesy of Dennis Powell, The Athens News.

Adrienne Nagy (left) and Mayor Steve Patterson

Adrienne Nagy (left) and Mayor Steve Patterson (Speaking). Photo by Anna Heinrich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Athens’ African American Community, John Butcher places wreath on John Martin’s grave.

From Athens’ African American Community, John Butcher places wreath on John Martin’s grave. Photo by Dennis Powell, The Athens News