Red holiday bows pop up on old cemetery

Red holiday bows pop up on old cemetery

HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) - It's typical to find houses decorated for the holidays, but someone or a group of someones surprised one community by decorating hundreds of graves at a cemetery.

Sandra Donaldson spends her spare time volunteering with the Hopkins County Genealogy Office.

"I feel like I'm going to help somebody down the road that's looking for their family because I've done my own and I'm still finding," said Donaldson.

Donaldson's most recent project was focused on African-American cemeteries in the area.

"We realized that back when the cemeteries were read, back in the 60s, that the black cemeteries were not read. So we went hunting," Donaldson added.

She and several other volunteers were able to track down and document several African American cemeteries, but one of the biggest ones they've documented is the Barnsley Cemetery.

They've discovered about 600 graves there, many of which are babies.

She said they recently went around checking on the cemeteries and happened to stop at Barnsley.

"So we went in there, and that's when we saw the bows on the crosses and the new dedication stone," she said.

Over 600 bright red bows with dangling jingle bells had been carefully placed on each cross.

"We were thrilled. We were absolutely thrilled," Donaldson told us.

Underneath those beautiful bows lies some of Margie Bowman's family members including her baby brother who died at 3-months-old.

"Those red ribbons on those crosses. I know my family has red ribbons, and they're being thought of today for this holiday. It's beautiful, it's just gorgeous," said Bowman.

No one seems to know who's behind the bright red bows, but they do have a message for whoever is responsible.

"God bless you! That whoever it is cared enough to do it. I think it's beautiful," said Donaldson.

"You are a wonderful person or people with big hearts to go this far to bless those who wouldn't bless themselves," added Bowman.

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