Monday, September 29, 2008

Washington Ceremony

EVERETT, Wash. (Map, News) - For decades they lay mostly forgotten in the northeast corner of Evergreen Cemetery.

Then barely a month after being general manager in 2001, Jim Shipman realized that some of the markers in a patch of grass were for Civil War veterans.

At first he thought there were 25 or 30. Now retired, Shipman has accounted for more than 150 and thinks there may be another 25. Biographies have been completed on more than 100, including two known to be black.

On Saturday dozens of people of all ages attended the fourth annual "Echoes of Blue and Gray" ceremony, which was instituted at the cemetery with the dedication of a 9-foot obelisk in 2005.

There were talks from members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as a performance by the Washington Civil War Association fife and drum corps, musket and artillery salutes and the playing of "Taps."

"These men fought in America's greatest crisis, and they should not be forgotten," Shipman said.