LOGAN – With 53 acres, 600 trees, and 20,000 tombstones (900 of them unmarked), one can only imagine the excruciating process to tend and polish Cache Valley’s largest cemetery; especially for it’s busiest day of the year: Memorial Day. Mark Johnson, head sexton of the Logan City Cemetery, explains the procedures that are needed in order to fully embrace the influx of grave visitors and mourners that come on the last Monday of May.
Established in 1865, the lush graveyard executes around 225 burials a year with about 10 percent being cremations. With 65 sprinklers in possession, it takes the maintenance crew a total of two weeks to nurture the immense space: one week to mow the grass and one week to water it. When asked about his staff and their preparations for the veteran’s holiday, Johnson responded, “Everything’s just perfect, we want it perfect for Memorial Day.”
The sextons and staff bring in a few extra helpers from the Logan City Parks and Recreation department to help weed eat each individual tombstone ahead of the holiday. Opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, people will come and decorate their beloved one’s graves anytime between a couple of days to a full week in advance of the holiday.
Some of the more common visitor traditions to commemorate those who served and sacrificed their lives for our country are either placing a flag, a white cross, or flowers at the veteran’s gravesite. Many also celebrate Memorial Day as a day to remember lost family members. According to Johnson, a couple years back an anonymous group of men, women, and children came to the Logan City Cemetery and released balloons in remembrance of their children.
Johnson and his staff will be available and present during their open hours on Memorial Day, to make sure things run smoothly. “We’re there to help anyone out, whether it’s just finding the location of a grave. We would just like everyone to help us out by not blocking the roads, to make it a good experience for everybody.”