BRAWLEY, Calif. - A neglected cemetery gets a long-awaited gift: trees.
Some dreams do come true. New trees for a neglected but not forgotten cemetery along Highway 86 in Imperial Valley, for example.
Memory Gardens Cemetery Restoration Project Organizer Cruz Abarca said, “The day finally arrived where we actually planted some trees. We planted five trees actually. We’re trying to bring some green into the cemetery. It’s been a long road, finally got here.”
He praised volunteers as he put the finishing touches on the last tree planted on Saturday.
“I have my grandkids that come out here and help me and some other volunteers that’ve been pretty faithful to our project. But we can always use those extra two hands or four hands or whatever.”
It’s at the grave of Brenda Sue Sayers, a local child murdered over 50 years ago.
“I made it a point to get either a bush or a tree planted in there. I think it’s the right thing to do for Sue,” Abarca said.
Brenda Sue is among over 600 people that rest here, including veterans.
“Actually, over a year and a half ago, I saw the place the way this was run down and nobody was paying attention. These veterans like any other veterans anywhere in these united states deserve the same respect. And that’s the reason that I’m still here,” Abarca said.
The work of nearly two years continues. Abarca would like the community’s help.
“There’s sixty if not more broken headstones that i intend to build or to replace,” Abarca said.
Anyone who wants to help can reach Abarca on Facebook at Cruz T. Abarca.