It’s about memorializing the dead and remembering their sacrifice.
It’s Memorial Day, of course; and one local observance on Monday May 31st will be held at 11:30 AM in the Stanley Cemetery, according to Bob Mahovsky, the president of the Stanley Cemetery Ancestry Fund, the event's sponsor.
Amongst other facets, the occasion will feature the dedication of a large, brand-new American flag. Old Glory will fly from its new flagpole in memory of the 141 military veterans buried in the cemetery, adjacent to Christ’s Lutheran Church. The keynote speaker will be Russell Stalvey, a retired command sergeant major.
“Gathering in a cemetery, where there are places of rest and finality, can cause us to pause, to ponder, to give thanks and perhaps wonder about history,” Mahovsky observed.
He continued that the cemetery’s first burial was in 1806, back when the land was owned by the Brevard family (hence Brevard Station, the name of the village that later became known as Stanley in 1879). This hallowed ground serves as the final repository, not only for many local townsfolk, but also veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the War Between the States, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mahovsky also offered further explication of the Stanley Cemetery Ancestry Fund (or SCAF).
“The purpose of the ancestry fund is to pay for the cost of mowing and maintaining the lawn in the cemetery,” he said. “And hopefully, as you look around, you will see that it is relatively well maintained. Because of the importance of showing love and respect to the veterans here, the SCAF has organized this event and an annual Veterans Day celebration. We also organize volunteers to do the general clean-up projects.”
Also joining Stalvey at the Memorial Day event will be State Rep. John Torbett, Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger, Stanley Mayor Steven Denton and the Gaston County Color Guard. There will be patriotic songs, a 21-gun salute and more.
Want to help the Stanley Cemetery Ancestry Fund? Mahovsky encourages you to send checks to:
Stanley Cemetery Ancestry Fund
c/o Treasurer Thomas Deese
P.O. Box 772
Stanley, NC 28164.