Local News

Family Grieves Over Lost Family Gravesites

Posted November 20, 1998

— A Raleigh family is struggling to preserve its heritage. The gravesites of many of their ancestors have been damaged and displaced, and now family members want something done about it.

"This area means a lot to me," Minnie Bridges said. "My mother and father were buried here."

Bridges likes to visit the site where her parents were buried. The problem is that she is not exactly sure where that is. The cemetery at Pleasant Union United Church of Christ was hit hard by Hurricane Fran. When church members decided to clean up the mess Bridges says they only made matters worse.

"The church was trying to beautify the ground, but at the same time, some of the graves were done away with," Bridges said.

Bridges' sister, Colleen Harris is also concerned. "To upgrade the graveyard is one thing, but to destroy it is a different story," she said.

Church officials who say they are working to rectify the situation. They called a state archaeologist to identify and flag the gravesites. It could not happen soon enough for Minnie Bridges. She plans to put a headstone at her parents' grave for her family and for generations to come.

"It's very important to know where your ancestors are and have a headstone, know the date of birth, know when they died," Bridges said. "It means a lot to the descendents."

Church officials say they plan to put markers at the gravesites that have been identified.

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