November 14, 2023
High Schoolers Place American Flags At Graves In Neglected Texas Cemetery For Black Veterans
Students from South Grand Prairie High School volunteered their time to tend to Antioch Life Park Cemetery on Nov. 10.
Students from South Grand Prairie High School volunteered their time to tend to Antioch Life Park Cemetery, a neglected burial ground for Black service members, on Nov. 10.
The high schoolers visited the Grand Prairie, Texas, cemetery in honor of Veteran’s Day 2023. According to CBS News, they put American flags at the veterans’ headstones. The burial ground for Black service members has not been maintained for decades. The news outlet noted the obvious difference in care for the Antioch Life Park Cemetery and DFW National Cemetery, which is located on the other side of Mountain Creek Lake.
Efforts to garner support for the historic burial ground are ongoing. CBS News reported a fundraiser last year helped with improvements like new headstones for unmarked graves. In 2021, the Texas cemetery wrote on Facebook, “Saturday, September 4th, 10 am to noon. Cemetery Action Day. Meet, fix, greet, refresh, clean, laugh, serve the community. Antioch will provide tools, equipment and refreshments. Help us take care of Grand Prairie history!” A fundraising campaign in 2020 organized by a user named Daryl Clark on GoFundMe received $1,760 toward a $1,000 goal to get proper maintenance for the cemetery.
The 2020 campaign for Antioch Life Park Cemetery noted that “members of founding families of North Texas” are buried at the site- “some from as early as the 1850s.” The GoFundMe campaign’s description read, “Funds from this effort will help preserve, maintain and upgrade the cemetery for its interred residents, their surviving family members, friends, relatives, visitors and historians.”
According to the fundraiser, the money would be used to “help provide grave monuments for those that did not receive them, and fix the markers for those who did.”
It also reads that if enough funds are received, “more of the cemetery’s operating revenue can be used to improve amenities and services for those who are yet to be buried here, and for those that come to visit them.”
Donors in support of the cemetery’s upkeep shared their thoughts. Cindy Hicks, a user who donated $90, commented on the fundraiser’s page, “Veterans are heroes .”
Another, under the username of Teresa B, wrote, “Veterans have earned better treatment. Please donate and share. Thanks.”
Additional funding is still needed. Issues like grave sites and markers at risk of coming out of the ground or being covered up are still apparent.