Members of the Elizabeth Forey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, in conjunction with the Gig Harbor Cemetery Association, will unveil a Civil War tombstone honoring Sgt. Hannibal Bickford during a 1 p.m. ceremony Saturday (Oct. 7) at the cemetery located off Dana Dr. NW in east Gig Harbor.
Bickford has lain in an unmarked grave for 108 years.
The program will include music, tributes, flags and information about Bickford presented by Kathy Veasey, a DAR member and genealogist who completed the research which provided his service and led to the placement of the special tombstone provided by the Veterans Administration.
Taps will be played in his honor by Bernie Moskowitz, bugler from Tahoma National Cemetery.
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Veasey will also provide a poem that Amanda Veasey, Kayden England and Olivia Larson, granddaughters of DAR members, will read before placing flowers on Bickford’s grave.
Veasey volunteers more than 100 hours a year at the cemetery and has discovered other Civil War veterans in unmarked graves. She anticipates completing the required documentation of their service over the coming years with the hope of placing a tombstone each year until they are all recognized.
The service is open to the public.
DAR is a volunteer service organization whose members can trace their ancestry to a patriot who contributed to the cause of the American Revolution. Members are dedicated to promoting patriotism, honoring veterans, preserving American history and securing America’s future through better education for children.
The unveiling of the tombstone on Saturday marks the chapter’s Annual Service to America Day in honor of the society’s founding on Oct. 11, 1890.