Forgotten WWI soldier receives headstone
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - One woman saw a need to keep up an abandoned cemetery where a World War I veteran and many others are buried.
A local woman Melanie Jackson said, she and her kids were driving back from fishing at the lake, and suddenly one of her kids yelled stop.
“They usually ask to stop to pick a snake, a turtle or frog or something, but no its a cemetery and we went to walking it and we could only see a part of a stone like this so we thought it was only 4 or 5 headstones, but no it’s big,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she was already doing a lot of research into local graves. She said while going page by page, she saw Mt. Scott only has a record of 14 people being buried there.
“And so when I started going through personal ads and front pages and different deals like that. I came across an Ivan L. Brady who was at Mt. Scott Cemetery buried along the side of his mother,” Jackson said.
Ivan L. Brady died at the age of 21 of tuberculosis on March 9th, 1922. He was brought back to Lawton and laid to rest near his mother in a cemetery at Mt. Scott. He has been there for over 100 years without a headstone.
Jackson said it took 5 years to get Brady recognized and now with the help of the Military Order of the Purple Heart who paid for the headstone, Ivan L. Brady will be honored.
“When you think for a minute you ride by and you see an overgrown cemetery, you are disrespecting the people that came before you, it is highly patriotic starting from the time I was born. I was taught to respect my elders and that goes back to the people that have already gone, they are also our elders,” Bruce Dwyer, adjutant for the Military Order of the Purple Heart said.
Jackson has not only taken it upon herself to clean and maintain the abandoned cemetery but has made it a mission to identify everyone buried there and give them headstones.
“I am at 102 and the majority of them being just rocks, but I know where probably 45 rocks have been identified and were going to try to turn them into headstones,” Jackson said.
The dedication to Ivan L. Brady will be on January 21st, 2023 at 10 am, at the old abandoned Mount Scott Cemetery on McClung Road.
If you will like more information about the Military Order of the Purple Heart contact:
Bruce Dwyer cell: 580-583-6417 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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