Georgians aim to add headstones to unmarked graves of babies
DALTON, Ga. (AP) — Workers have begun placing the first headstones on unmarked graves of children at a cemetery in northwest Georgia.
West Hill Cemetery in Dalton includes a paupers section for children up to 6 months old whose parents can’t afford to bury them, The Daily Citizen-News reported .
There are about 67 unmarked graves in the children paupers section of the city-owned cemetery.
Dalton resident Amanda Jones has been trying to raise awareness about all those unmarked graves, and she began a fund-raising campaign to place markers on them.
Jones visited the cemetery many times with her grandmother, Judy Alderman, and had noticed that many of the graves in the children paupers section did not have markers.
“It just broke my heart,” she said.
Jones said that one of those graves, in particular, caught her eye and her heart. It belongs to a baby known as “Jellybean.”
“Her parents painted her name on stones and piled them on top of the grave, but that paint is eroding,” she told The Daily Citizen-News.
Jones embarked on an effort to raise money to help place markers on the graves. Stories about her efforts appeared in The Daily Citizen-News on Jan. 27 and Feb. 12.
The effort raised more than $4,500 — enough to put markers on all the unmarked graves, Dalton Public Works Director Benny Dunn said.
Some of the graves in the section have homemade markers, and Dunn said the city will also put markers on those graves if the parents request it.
Money that comes into the city’s Infants Gravestone Fund created as a result of Jones’ efforts will be used to help parents of children buried there in the future have a marker for those graves, Dunn said.
Information from: The Daily Citizen, http://www.daltondailycitizen.com