(HELENA) A new granite memorial will now provide a permanent remembrance for people in Lewis and Clark County whose remains had gone unclaimed.
In November, leaders held a “Remembering the Forgotten” ceremony at the Lewis and Clark County Cemetery in the Helena Valley. They interred more than 100 people’s cremated remains, which had been left at the coroner’s office or local funeral homes for years – some since the 1930s and 1940s.
Around the time of the ceremony, Montana Granite Industries offered to donate a granite slab, engraved with the names of each person interred. They installed the memorial earlier this month.
“This is a wonderful gift,” said county commissioner Susan Good Geise.
Geise said they had hoped to have the monument installed by Memorial Day.
“Sure enough, they delivered,” she said.
The granite memorial will go along with a metal sign reading “Rest in Peace.” That sign was made by shop students from Augusta High School.
About 50 people took part in the Remembering the Forgotten ceremony, which included observations from a number of denominations.
“It’s a wonderful thing, I think, that our community has done,” said Geise. “That’s who our community is.”
Geise said this memorial provides a fitting conclusion to the long effort to give these people a final resting place.
“We have a tablet engraved with their names, so that we know that these weren’t just faceless, nameless individuals – they were parts of our community, and they are missed, they are remembered,” she said.
The Lewis and Clark County Cemetery is off McHugh Drive, across from Forestvale Cemetery.