60 unmarked graves to receive markers after the community raises nearly $19,000

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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- 60 unmarked graves at mount hope cemetery are about to receive markers.

Friends of Lansing's Historic Cemeteries receive money for grave markers

The graves belong to young boys who died at a vocational school in the area between 1856 and 1933.

Nearly 20 years ago Michelle Pohl fought hard to get a marker for her uncle's grave.

He died alone on Christmas in 1926 at the age of 12 as a ward of the state.

Now her uncle's lone marker at Mount Hope will be joined by 60 other markers representing the other boys that attended the boys training school.

"I think he would be very ecstatic and proud that now that all these other boys up here are getting the markers that they deserve," said Pohl.

Around Richard Mckimmy's marker and the boys vocational school memorial will be 60 markers to identify where the boys are buried.

"They will have an identity. In researching these boys stories and deaths, I found that not all the boys were even juveniles, and they need to be remembered" said Nancy Mahlow, the President of the Eastside Neighborhood organization.

Regardless of whatever life these boys lived, they will now have a small 16 by 20 inch granite marker stating their name, birth year and death year.

Money for these markers came in in just six weeks.

'We have been so touched by so many people that have reached out from all across the country," said Loretta Stanaway, the President of Friends of Lansing's Historic Cemeteries. "We have had emails and phone calls and text messages, donations from Florida, you name it and its just incredible this has been accomplished."

The markers have been ordered with the nearly $19,000 raised.

Stanaway hopes they will be ready to be placed on the graves by late august and to serve as a memory to the city.

"That the public may come sit and just reflect and look at the names at the back of the monument, look at the names on the ground and wonder what could have been for each of those little boys," said Stanaway.

Organizers hope to eventually add landscaping with more flowers and benches around the new markers in the mount hope cemetery.

Even though $19,000 has been raised, organizers are still looking for another two thousand to fully pay the city for marker cuts.

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