Volunteers are helping families of UDR veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice to honour their memories by helping maintain their graves.
The initiative began several months ago after Newtownabbey Councillor Robert Hill was approached by UDR veterans’ families, who were concerned that as they grew older there would be no-one left to maintain their relatives’ graves.
After the matter was raised before Council, volunteers were organised for a cleanup to ensure the graves were left in good order.
The first cleanup took place on Saturday September 20 at Carnmoney cemetery. Cllr Robert Hill told The Times: “There are around 20 graves at Carnmoney cemetery and around 10 volunteers turned up to help out on the day.
“It was beautiful morning and a great privilege to be able to pay this small act of appreciation to those who gave all for our future.
“I think this is the first time this has been done anywhere in Northern Ireland. It’s very important-these men have made the ultimate sacrifice and as their families get older there is concern that there will be no-one left to look after them and they will be forgotten. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen. It would be excellent if other Councils could follow suit.”
Passing on the volunteers’ thanks to the Council and its staff, he continued: “I look forward to this becoming a regular event and more people getting involved. I would urge any families who have been missed out to get in touch with the Council to be added to the list.”
To volunteer, contact the Council on 02890340000 or Cllr Hill on 07917543675.