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Volunteers clean up Commodore Perry International Cemetery

Date Posted: 1999-04-02

Volunteers from MWCS-18, 1st Marine Air Wing, Veterans of Foreign Wars and members of the 3rd Supply Battalion assembled March 14 at the Commodore Perry International Cemetery in Naha City, to participate in the first community cleanup of the site.

According to Kelly Anderson, Post Commander of VFW Post 9723, the cemetery is in disrepair and regular maintenance of the historic site must begin immediately.

"The cemetery in its current shape is a disgrace to the American community in Okinawa," Anderson said. "It's our duty to see that it is cleaned up and kept in shape."

The cemetery is the last resting place for many prominent Americans, both retired military and civilians. Several members of Commodore Perry's crew are also buried in the cemetery, dating as far back as 1854.

Harry Thomas, a local businessman and member of the VFW, toured the cemetery with several Marines from MWCS-18, pointing out many friends buried here. "I know these people, they are dear friends and comrades of mine," Thomas stated.

Commander Anderson invites any group or individuals on Okinawa to help keep this cemetery presentable. "I doubt that you will get your name in any paper, your face on television or any other recognition for this, but you can be assured that you're doing a very good thing for this community," Anderson said.

The next scheduled cleanup of the cemetery starts 10 a.m., on May 2. Bring your lawn mower, rakes, gloves, and lots of plastic bags. Any inquiries concerning the effort, call Kelly Anderson at 899-1851 or e-mail kelly@momo2000.com

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