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Dan Keller, left, director of Catholic Cemeteries, and Bill Barnes, manager of memorials and facilities, inspect the recently installed veterans’ memorial May 12 at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha. Photo by Mike May/Staff.

Veterans’ memorial a highlight to Memorial Day commemorations

Catholic Cemeteries’ annual Memorial Day commemorations will include a special dedication this year – for a new veterans’ memorial in Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha.

Archbishop George J. Lucas will dedicate and bless the memorial after celebrating the 10 a.m. May 30 Mass across the street at Calvary Cemetery, said Bill Barnes, manager of memorials and facilities for the archdiocese’s five Omaha cemeteries.

The memorial includes two black granite monuments fronting the Haven of Heroes East and West sections of the cemetery, near the West Center Road cemetery entrance. The monuments feature emblems of the five main service branches, engravings of their mottos and a scriptural passage, and etchings of the American flag overlaid with a cross, Barnes said.

The dedication will be part of a busy Memorial Day weekend at Catholic Cemeteries, with staff members available May 27 through May 30 this year to help people look for the graves of loved ones, provide transportation as needed and hand out miniature American flags to decorate gravesites, said Dan Keller, director.

"It’s like the Fourth of July about a foot-and-a-half above the ground with explosion of color all across the cemeteries."

Masses will be held at 10 a.m. at all the cemeteries, with Bishop Emeritus Anthony Milone presiding at Resurrection Cemetery and priests of the archdiocese offering Masses at Holy Sepulchre, St. Mary Magdalene and St. Mary cemeteries.

The veterans memorial is the first of several improvements planned over the summer, Keller said. Others include:

Resurrection Cemetery – adding access roads and family estates to the northeast section, developing a Garden of the Angels cremation burial area with landscaping, walkways, prayer gardens and statuary near the West Center Road entrance.

Calvary Cemetery – New burial areas.

St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery – Developing a Mary Queen of Heaven Cremation Garden.

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery – New burial areas and road improvements.

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