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Youth marks graves of forgotten veterans for first time

The Mountain View Cemetery came alive once again, but it was because of a group of young volunteers, who gave up their Saturday morning to draw attention to those who were forgotten in one unique way.

“There are a lot of untold stories in cemeteries,” Pocatello Community Charter School Venturing Crew founder Kestrel Hulet said, while leading the way to find the next fallen soldier on her list.

“We each received a section and we’re assigned to go and find those people and mark their headstones,” she said.

The group carried several small blocks of wood, with the word “vet” scribed across the side in bold, green lettering. In each block of wood, stood a flower and an American flag.

The Venturing Crew set out to mark the graves of the 98 veterans buried in Pocatello’s Mountain View Cemetery who fought in the Spanish-American and Civil wars. Of those, 38 only fought in the Civil War, and three of them fought on the confederate side.

“I think (this experience) is pretty amazing,” Hulet added. “These are events we’ve learned about in history classes but they feel kind of removed from us. Idaho wasn’t even a state back then!”

The project started with the Pocatello Historic Preservation Committee’s Jacquee Alvord, who is a veteran herself. Hulet said she spent a significant portion of her own time researching everyone who was buried at that cemetery, finding the veterans, and discovering the dates they fought.

Up until this point, most of those graves had not been marked, indicating they were veterans of those wars.

Hulet said this event has helped them feel connected to a part of history that had been overlooked for decades.

“Because of this, we could see all of this history that has come to Pocatello, rested here, and will forever more.”

Block by block, the fallen heroes who fell even further back in memory and recognition, will now be marked in history once again.

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