Community effort will photograph military cemetery headstones for national database

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) Volunteers across Central Kentucky plan to photograph and record a potentially record-breaking number of military gravestones on a single day later this month, making them digitally accessible to family members and historians across the world through the website BillionGraves.com.

The community is invited to participate in the effort. Simply download the Billion Graves app in advance, and bring a smartphone to one of the three military cemeteries on the morning of April 24.

The genealogy service activity is set for Saturday, April 24, and will include Camp Nelson in Nicholasville, Danville National Cemetery in Danville, and Machpelah Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, among others.

The first effort largely concentrated on civilian cemeteries with this year’s second project focused primarily on military cemeteries.

“Our hope is to start making the gravestones of Kentucky’s soldiers more accessible in the digital world,” said Rex Holt, president of the Lexington North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“These men and women have given so much to our country and our families. We want to honor that service by making sure those records are easily found.”

In October 2020, dozens of volunteers from the Church in conjunction with the community-based “Just Serve” organization photographed and recorded an estimated 15,000 headstones in cemeteries throughout Central Kentucky.

“This is a meaningful activity that can be done in small groups or even independently,” shared Glen Krebs, president of the Lexington Kentucky Stake, the neighboring group of congregations of the Church.

“There are ways to serve our communities and each other every single day. When we come together and serve together, the results can be far-reaching.”

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