Home News Local News Memory Lawn Memorial Park gets some much needed love

Memory Lawn Memorial Park gets some much needed love

Frances Brown cuts some weeds and other growth Saturday morning at Memory Lawn Memorial Park cemetery on East 19th Street. Paul Mason, in background, is also one of the mowers for the weekend clean-up project. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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From left are David Males, New Mexico state president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and a local area trustee; Floyd Turner, an Eagle Rider member; Paul Mason, state coordinator of the Eagle Riders; Tammie Mason, president of the Eagle Riders; Frances Brown, an Eagle Rider member; and Jim Dishman, Eagle Riders road captain. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

A group of local volunteers has devoted this weekend to making the earthly resting spot for many veterans and early town residents a better place.

The Eagle Riders, an internal group of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, often known for their motorcycles, are mowing the grounds of Memory Lawn Memorial Park cemetery this weekend. They also purchased and hoisted a U.S. and New Mexico flag for the white flag pole in the center of the grounds. Some of the areas of the cemetery has become overgrown with weeds.

“This is kind of the forgotten cemetery,” said Tammie Mason, president of the Eagle Riders, “so our group has decided we will help to take care of it.”

Memory Lawn, which continues to serve as a functional cemertery, is not owned, operated or maintained by the city. It has been in legal receivership since 2011 without a source of regular funding. Over the years, various options have been considered to turn over ownership to business interests and entities, including the city of Roswell. However, no deals have worked out yet, and whatever maintenance gets done is through the volunteer efforts of family, interested individuals and community groups.

The Eagle Riders has been visiting the cemetery about three times a year for six years to place flags on the grave sites of veterans, said Mason, and to do other maintenance work. The group also wants to purchase a new flag pole to replace the rusted one standing in the cemetery now, a project that will cost about $5,000 for the pole and the foundation in which it sits.

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“We plan on doing that,” said Mason, “It is something we want to do, but we first have to raise the funds.”

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.