Pleasant Forest Cemetery’s board of directors joined Boy Scout Troop 30 members and a Brownie Scout in observing Memorial Day by honoring veterans in the historic cemetery off Concord Road, Farragut.
They raised the American flag and placed flags on 105 veterans’ graves Saturday, May 28.
“I think it’s an honor to show our fallen veterans some recognition,” Scout Owen Young, 14, said.
“It’s cool,” Scout Samuel Taylor Lawhorn IV, 14, said. “It’s something we need to do more to respect the veterans who served.”
“I’m excited about honoring the veterans,” Brownie Sydnee Lawhorn, 8, said.
“I think it’s good for them,” Troop leader Samuel Lawhorn Jr. said. “I think kids in the world ought to be doing things like this. Maybe they will respect things more.”
“I think it’s great,” Malcolm Shell, board treasurer, said.
“We’re excited,” Michael Karnitz, cemetery board president, said. “I think it’s an honor we recognize our veterans.”
The honor was made possible after they researched and identified some of its veterans.
“We’ve been talking about doing this for a year or more and the troop was anxious to help, but we didn’t have the information,” Karnitz said. “We knew some of the veterans because of their plaques, so we had to research.”
Some of the tombstones were hard to read, and many were not marked as having served in the military, he said.
Board members not only identified veterans but also placed plaques on graves and erected a new flagpole. They enlisted the help of Bobby Herwig, who created a website for the cemetery, Karnitz said.
Efforts to identify veterans in the cemetery continue, as there still are veterans’ graves to be identified.
“We would like some help from the families in this area to find veterans in the cemetery,” Karnitz said.
They had another veteran identified when Bobby and Retta Newcomb arrived at the cemetery to place flowers on the grave of Bobby’s father, Lloyd Newcomb, a World War II veterans who was captured in France by Germans in 1944.
“This [honor] really touches my heart,” Retta said.
Pleasant Forest cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Knox County, Shell said.
Its history goes back to 1790. It was established after David Campbell donated the land for a church and a school.
Shell said the cemetery was there before the church. Some of those buried in the cemetery include Archi-bald Roane, second governor of Tennessee; Elder David Campbell and descendants; Lt. Thomas Boyd, a Revolutionary War veteran who served with George Washington at Valley Forge in 1777; and four Civil War veterans — three Union and one Confederate.