Class of 1968
Memorial Marker Project August
Rose headed the committee that planned our 40 year reunion. The committee
decided that we would take on a project to memorialize all of our classmates who
had died and who were not buried or already memorialized at the Academy Cemetery.
This project was headed by Steve McPhail, who was assisted by Carl Janssen.
Of the 61 classmates who had died, 21 were already at the Academy Cemetery when
we started. We placed Jim Lyon's ashes in the Academy
Cemetery Columbarium, and Wally Curtis was buried during our reunion.
Of the remaining 38, we were either able to contact next of kin or gather sufficiently
accurate information to have memorial markers made and placed at the cemetery
for 36 of them. We also received word of the death of John Lambert during
the Veterans Affairs benefit of a grave marker was used when a classmate was buried
elsewhere, either the class or the next of kin, if they desired, paid for the
marker. Since the Academy Cemetery isn't a national cemetery, we were able to
have wings added to the markers when it was appropriate for a modest additional
Our class officers have agreed to continue funding this effort for
at least the next five years.
For questions and suggestions, contact Steve
McPhail at 214-392-1324, email@example.com,
or Carl Janssen at 719-488-6778,
What We Learned
First, it is very important that your loved ones know your wishes
for the arrangements when you die. This can be a simple process, but
it needs to be done. You can leave your wishes and instructions in a
letter or note with someone who knows where they are. They don't have
to be notarized or official in any way. They just need to be instructive.
A good place to start is at the USAFA
Mortuary Affairs area of the USAFA
web site. It can be found at http://www.usafa.edu/10abw/10msg/mortaffairs/.
Whether or not you plan to be buried at the Academy, this web site has
very detailed information that anyone will need, and it includes forms
you can use to capture important information about yourself and your
wishes. It also answers the "Can I be buried at the Academy?"
question. The answer is yes for all grads and their eligible relatives.
Second, regardless of where you will be buried, it is important
that your loved ones contact the Academy at the time of your death.
They should call the Association of Graduates
at 719-472-0300. This not only starts the process of your information
being included in the Checkpoints "Gone But Not Forgotten"
section, it also alerts our class about your passing and leads to contact
between your loved ones and the Academy's
Mortuary Affairs folks for any assistance they can provide. Their
phone number is 719-333-3323.
Third, if it is your desire to rest at the Academy Cemetery when
you die, there are three options. Your body or ashes can be buried in
a grave site in the cemetery, or your ashes can be placed in the Columbarium
in the east facing wall of the new Memorial Pavilion at the cemetery.
If there are no remains, you can have a memorial marker placed in the
memorial section of the cemetery. Your VA grave marker benefit can be
used for burial and the Academy furnishes the columbarium nameplates.
Fourth, if you are buried elsewhere a memorial marker can be
placed at the USAFA cemetery. If the VA grave marker benefit is used
elsewhere, your loved ones can pay for the marker or the class will.
If the VA benefit was not used elsewhere, it can be used to provide
the memorial marker at the Academy Cemetery.