11 April 2009

Will Richmond Officials Finally Cooperate?

I've posted about Oakwood Cemetery before. (See here, here, and here.) One of my great-great grandfathers, John Meredith Crutchfield, is buried there with his final resting place marked only by a numbered stone. Now comes news that the current Mayor of Richmond, Dwight C. Jones, may be more open to resolving the longstanding maintenance and preservation problems at Oakwood. The Sons of Confederate Veterans has been attempting to work with the City of Richmond for several years now. Mayor Jones's administration seems willing to finally work toward a solution:

"We are actively looking to see what our options are," said Suzette Denslow, the mayor's chief of staff. "We are receptive to the idea and just trying to make sure it works."

Unfortunately, former Mayor Douglas Wilder would not even respond to several of my attempts as to why he'd block me, along with many others, from honoring their ancestor and marking their graves. His administration blocked all attempts by the SCV to install new stones and do what the Virginia General Assembly authorized them to do. Why someone's not sued over the issue is something that puzzles me. Since the legislature has authorized the SCV to maintain the cemetery and since it would save the City of Richmond about $25,000 a year, you would think it would be a no-brainer.

Let's hope common sense and decency in honoring these men's final resting place prevails.

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