Volunteers from the Mogollon Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution have started attending funerals of veterans in Payson. The volunteer program "shadows" the Arlington Ladies, a volunteer group of military wives and lady veterans at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
The purpose of the Cemetery Ladies is to honor and attend our veterans' "Last Tribute" at the cemetery. The ladies give condolence cards to the families of fallen soldiers, and affirm they are present to give honor to their loved ones who served in the military.
Comfort is given to the families as needed, and veterans without families are of particular concern. The Arizona program was started at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix in August 2002. Many veterans had great concern that no one would attend their burial. The Cemetery Ladies now join the ever-faithful Military Honor Guards in bidding farewell to these veterans.
With about 1,000 World War II veterans passing away every day, the peak of these losses will occur in the year 2005. The Cemetery Memorial Ladies service is expanding, not only in Arizona, but it is growing all across the country.