Historic observance comes to life on Memorial Day at Citizens Cemetery
The year 1910 will come to life Monday as the Yavapai Cemetery Association conducts its annual Memorial Day Observance at the historic Citizens Cemetery in Prescott.
The annual old-fashioned Decoration Day event is designed to follow a colorful ceremony that took place at the same cemetery in 1910. It begins promptly at 9 a.m. The cemetery is located along East Sheldon Street.
The public is welcome to attend and visit gravesites before and after the ceremony. The Safeway store on Willow Creek Road has donated fresh flowers for bouquets for people to place on the graves of pioneers who served in the military. Volunteers and descendants will be available to answer questions and provide information.
Visitors should bring their own chairs. Parking will be available at Yavapai College and nearby streets, but not the cemetery.
The observance will include musical selections by bagpiper Denise Robinson, the Prescott Brass Ensemble directed by Karl Kaub and soloists Michael Nache and Kate Howell.
Members of the American Legion's Post 6 Color Guard, Camp Verde Cavalry, Arizona Rough Riders Troop 1-A and representatives of area veterans' groups will form the Honor Guard.
Public officials attending the ceremony will include Secretary of State Ken Bennett (master of ceremonies), Arizona Rep. Lucy Mason, Prescott Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, Justice of Peace Arthur Markham, Prescott Police Lt. Ken Morley, the Rt. Rev. Peter Robinson, Prescott Unified School District Curriculum and Testing Coordinator Heidi Atkinson, Prescott High School student Tori Atkinson and Sacred Heart student Gavin Boylan,
Representatives of various community organizations will process into the ceremony, as was the custom in early years. Memberships of those buried in the cemetery determine which groups get an invitation to participate.
Citizens Cemetery was established the same year that Prescott was founded as the Arizona Territorial capital in 1864. It contains the graves of more than 2,700 known Yavapai County pioneers and veterans of numerous wars, including the Civil War.