Historic Salisbury cemetery receives state recognition, new database for veterans graves
SALISBURY, Md. – A Victorian-era cemetery in Salisbury has been recognized at the state level and it’s all thanks to some 21st century technology.
“The thing with being a veteran is you’re forgotten when no one ever speaks your name again,” says Carol Smith with the Parsons Advisory Committee.
A recently finished project will help ensure the more than 12-hundred veterans buried in Salisbury’s Parsons Cemetery won’t be forgotten.
“There’s a gentleman from the War of 1812. There’s a gentleman who served four tours of duty in the Mexican Wars,. There’s about thirty Civil War vets buried including a general and a colonel, I do believe,” says Dr. Brent Zaprowski, a professor of Geology at Salisbury University.
The database consists of a large scale map with each veterans’ grave labeled along with a list of the branches and wars they served in. “Using drone imagery plus databases online I could put together this comprehensive database and map of the veterans,” says Zaprowski.
The idea for a database was born after Wreaths Across America volunteers struggled to identify all of the veterans graves there, many of which are unmarked.
This endeavor has even earned Parsons Cemetery a Community Choice Award from Preservation Maryland. “It was the fact that we are using technology in creative ways to preserve not just the history of Parsons Cemetery but the history of the people who rest here,” says Smith.
Smith says the main objective is to boost their reputation which may possibly lead to endowments to help with upkeep because mowing more than 18 acres worth of grass is not an easy or cheap task.
Parsons Cemetery is using technology in some other ways as well including an active social media presence on Facebook. They also have an informative website that offers information on their history as well as walking tours that they’re looking to possibly put on an app in the future.