Community Unites to Revive ‘Forgotten Cemetery’

Mobile Rundown Staff

A group of dedicated community members is joining forces to rejuvenate the Saint Austin Cemetery

You may have heard of it as the “Forgotten Cemetery.” 

Hidden behind a dense thicket of trees, this long-neglected burial ground covers nine sprawling acres and is in dire need of a facelift. 

Eddie Irby, President and Founder of the 92nd Infantry Division of Buffalo Soldiers of WWII, is leading the charge. 

a somber project

Irby, who’s passionate about this project, shared that the cemetery does get occasional visitors, but that’s about it. 

Wesley Wheeler, one of the volunteers, outlined their plans. 

They want to clear away fallen trees, level the ground, and address any holes created by animals. 

They’re planning to remove debris and set up a privacy fence, too. 

Their goal is to make the area safe for everyone to visit the headstones. 

Stretching from Osage Street to South Craft Highway off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, the cemetery had sadly fallen into disrepair over the years. 

Even Irby is on a personal mission to locate his father’s grave, making him more determined to restore the sacred grounds. 

To kickstart this transformation, the team has carved out a makeshift entrance. 

Once the cleanup is complete, they’ll proudly display flags representing each military branch at the new entrance. 

Cleanup efforts are set to commence in November, with ongoing fundraising for flags and a plaque to honor the soldiers buried there. 

It’s nice to see the community taking it upon themselves to make improvements to our city. 

Sometimes, we just have to roll up our sleeves and band with like-minded individuals to achieve our goals, you know?

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