As you know by now I believe in Historic Preservation. We are losing our historic sites in many way’s day by day. They are part of our heritage and legacy to those that follow us. We are selective in our preservation though. Some things, we tend to ignore for one reason or the other. What can we do about this? I do not even begin to have an answer. One can hope we are moved in one way or the other to take a stand. All too often we do not. I received the following email today from email@example.com . Normally I tend to ignore anything other than comments. I read the letter. I agree with their purpose. I endorse their cause. What can be done? Read the letter. Then you decide.
I am sure you are aware that the State of Louisiana is planning on closing Central State Hospital and selling the grounds. Everyone in the area is talking about the economic impact of the sale, whether they think it will be a good move or a bad one.
What no one has mentioned is the cemetery. There are 2465 people buried in unmarked graves in that cemetery. Ten, maybe twelve, have markers bought by family members on a concrete slab at the front of the cemetery. Some of these people were buried over a hundred years ago. Their families don’teven know where they are buried. Some were buried during a time when their families didn’t have enough money to bring them home for burial. Some were buried days and weeks before their families were notified. Some families learned of their death when they came to visit.
Where is the outrage? Why aren’t people talking about this? There are 2465 people buried in unmarked graves right under their noses. These people had an illness. They didn’t do anything to deserve being forgotten as if they never lived. Some of these people had a disease such as TB , some were homeless. There are two babies buried there. Even the vilest criminals have markers on their graves. Angola has a very nice cemetery.
Ray Moreau and a very small group of people have worked for years trying to preserve the cemetery and put up markers. Their numbers are growing but at a snail’s pace. They get no coverage by KALB, KLAX or The Town Talk. They may mention the memorial service each year or a fund-raiser but that is it. They don’t do anything to bring the fight to the people of Cenla. There are some rich people in this area who could donate enough money to at least protect the cemetery. The problem is they have never had it put in their face. It is a non issue.
Will you help us by writing about it on your blog? Will you help us bring the cemetery to the conversation? Will you help us recognize all those people with the respect they deserve?