Bridge to the Past 
 

 

The first Sundays in April and October are now official visitation days at cemeteries large and small across Texas. "Texas Cemeteries: A Bridge to the Past" was approved by a resolution of both the Texas Senate (Senate Resolution No. 591 sponsored by Senator Gonzalo Barrientos) and the House of Representatives (House Resolution 1097 sponsored by the late Representative Dan Kubiak) in the 75th Legislative Session. This action was initiated and supported by Save Texas Cemeteries, Inc. Demonstrating the fullest amount of Barrientos, Scroggins, Thompson & Bullockpolitical activity allowed to STC by the law, the initial draft was done by board member Richard Scroggins.

Senator Barrientos stated in the resolution that because many of this state's historic cemeteries are located in remote and sometimes isolated areas, the state is interested in promoting greater public awareness of the historical and cultural importance of these sites. The first Sundays in the months of April and October were selected as dates for encouraging people to visit and help maintain the thousands of cemeteries around the state which are neglected or threatened.

STC President Karen Thompson says, "These historic cemeteries, many of which are on private property whose owners have no relationships to those interred, are extremely important to our heritage and culture. By the designation of these dates, we hope to create greater awareness of this important resource and also expand efforts towards preserving these areas for future generations."

Interested citizens and descendants of those buried in cemeteries have the right by Texas law to visit these areas and maintain them. However, many locations are inaccessible and sometimes inconvenient to visit. With the establishment of two official visitation days each year, STC hopes to promote cooperation between property owners and those interested in these cemeteries. Guidelines are available here for both property owners and visitors to the participating burial sites, along with suggested signage for property owners to post at the entrances of their land.


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