Making a Difference

By  | 

Two college groups that are often at the opposite ends of the political spectrum have found common ground. And it happens to be located in a cemetery. They're putting aside differences, to make a difference.

The front view of Oakwood Cemetery in Hunstville is adorned with a white monument of General Sam Houston. But go back a little further and you'll see the areas of the nearly 200 year old cemetery that need cleaning up. That's where an unlikely team steps in.

" The African American section of the cemetery hasn't really been focused on. I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to join up with the NAACP and collectively work on the African American section," said Chris Stone, a member of the College Republicans.

His organization along with the NAACP are uniting to clean up the areas of the cemetery that haven't received attention in a very long time. It's a partnership the university's chapter of the NAACP couldn't be prouder of.

" Hopefully if we keep doing this over the next couple of years, it will get bigger and people will notice," said Calvin Davis, NAACP President.

James Patton and Mac Woodward have worked together on the cemetery. Patton is the chair person for the Walker County historical commission.

" I think it's very important. This is something that's bothered me for a very long time. This section was just basically abounded," said Patton.

The cemetery changed ownership several times, but lack of funding often times kept the cemetery from being cared for. Now it belongs to the city. Council member Woodward says he's glad the student groups will work on improvements.

" I think that's going to be wonderful. It will focus attention on this section. What we really need to do is educate people as to what this cemetery is and how important it is," said Woodward.

Many gravesites are unmarked, names unknown. But no matter who the person was, the community believes they should all have a well-kept final resting place.

The cleanup will take place Saturday, April 16th. Students are meeting at West Hill Mall at 8 AM and then driving to Oakwood Cemetery. City crews will be there as well and anyone in the community is invited to come help out.