Decoration Day honors the dead at Daughters of Zion Cemetery

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Gone, but not forgotten, roses line the rows of the known and unknown buried at the Daughters of Zion Cemetery in Charlottesville, adding a new chapter to the story of Charlottesville's past.

It is something that gives Bernadette Whitsett-Hammond a sense of pride.

"Just remembering people who were really forgotten and now their stories and their lives are being shared with the public," said Whitsett-Hammond, a preserver of the cemetery.

Whitsett-Hammond and her team of preservers have been bringing what was once a cemetery left in ruins back to life for the past two years.

The city helped, giving $80,000 to revitalize it, and Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer says the results are inspiring.

"It's nice to have something we can celebrate virtually with unanimity and consensus here which is building and discovering new history," said Signer.

The dead who rest there are silent, but Whitsett-Hammond says if they could speak they would say "thank you."

"I think they are just so proud and they would say thank you to all who have taken a part in the recognition of the cemetery," she said.

It is one piece of history to preserve for the next generation.

"You too have a story to tell and those who went before you had a story to tell, and their voices need to be heard and included in your present life," said Whitsett-Hammond.

You can also take a walking tour of the cemetery by downloading an app called 'izi-Travel' on iTunes and Google Play.

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