Hopkinsville and Christian County celebrated a big milestone in the work that’s taken place at Union Benevolent Cemetery number 5 with a rededication ceremony Tuesday.
More commonly known as Vine Street Cemetery, the City of Hopkinsville acquired the legal title to the property and two years of work took place to clear the space of brush and clean up what remained. Many of the grave stones had fallen into disrepair, so documentation and research has taken place to determine who exactly is buried in the historic site. The work has been an effort of many different entities and individuals.
Christian County Chamber of Commerce Director of Military Affairs Lindsey Geraci says the cemetery is the final resting place of several African American Civil War veterans.
Fiscal Court Magistrate Kenneth Bates says he is glad to see the cemetery finally receive care, as no one wanted to take charge of it for too long.
Mayor Carter Hendricks says the cemetery is a symbol of many things, including the fact that things have certainly changed since the cemetery’s inception, and there is still progress to be made.
The stories of many people buried there were told, including Aaron McNeil, Hopkinsville’s first African American Episcopal priest, Fannie and Robert Lander and numerous veterans from several wars, including Vietnam, World War I and World War II.