The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 18, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, May 18, 2013


Eagle Scout project gives cemetery dignity



 I didn’t realize there were so many unidentified graveyards. I do know many cemeteries are not taken care of. Families have forgotten or moved out of the area. Also, as years pass, some of the younger family members don’t know about them. Sad, but true.

Occasionally, with new highways coming through, some remains had to be moved. I recently returned to visit the graves of my parents and they too have been neglected. I got some help and soon we had everything cleaned up and looking very nice.

Surprisingly, a handsome young Scout, Brandon Murdock, was looking for a project that would be worthy of an Eagle Scout Award. He searched his memory and suddenly a light came on. Wouldn’t it be nice to find an old cemetery that needed help? He discovered one not too far from the White Oak Rail Trail in Oak Hill called the Old Duncan Cemetery. His mother had some information on this cemetery and he went to the courthouse and looked it up. He knew he had to ask many questions to get permission for this project including the neighbors, the city, and the Eagle Scout Award committee. The young man received his permission and was eager to get started.

Looking at his project, the weeds were everywhere, headstones turned over, even trees growing in places they shouldn’t be. He had help getting rid of the forest of debris as he and his friends cut. Many days went by before he could at last see the daylight. He got some polish for the head stones and so many other things. He is the type of person to handle problems and find solutions. As the work progressed, he contacted some people about the graves. Some went back to the early 1800s, from babies to grandmothers and grandfathers. The day finally came when he completed his project  and he could see the fruition of his idea and work.

He placed a bench inside the cemetery and you can almost hear it whisper, “Come sit down and enjoy.”

Thanks to so many people who contributed to Brandon’s project. The Eagle Scout Award that is so very difficult to achieve was rightfully awarded to Mr. Murdock. I am so very pleased we have this young man in our community.



Margaret Hildebrand

Oak Hill