by Gainesville Veterans for Peace
Veterans for Peace has, each Memorial Day weekend since 2007, assembled the “Memorial Mile” of grave stones along the stretch of NW 8th Ave running eastward from NW 34th St. Each grave stone holds the name, age, hometown, service status and date of death for an individual casualty in America’s wars in central and southwest Asia: the previous display showed 6,888 United States troops, with 63 more on the list for this year (so far).
In 2016, the Memorial Mile had to be canceled due to road renovations by the City of Gainesville. This year, NW 8th Avenue is open and available again, with the City’s Public Works Department providing full cooperation—but VFP needs more hands to set up the Mile, and to take it down again.
Set up begins at approximately midnight on Friday, May 26. Different crews handle the markers for those who died in different years, so some volunteers will be needed then; others won’t start work until hours later.
As each marker needs to go in an exact location with precise alignment, volunteers will need to be able to cooperate closely—and to have knees that can bend down and rise up hundreds of times through the night. Take-down goes more quickly, although it requires careful coordination to make sure the markers stay in the correct order and go into the right boxes, and usually starts a little before sundown on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29).
If interested in helping out, please contact Gvl Vets for Peace president Scott Camil at 352-375-2563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.