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County commissioners recognize Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization

Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization board members meet with Mayor Ray Morriss and Sen. Mike McKay at the CHCO Headquarters, 400 S. Allegany St. The CHCO 40th year anniversary banner was presented and hung at the headquarters. The event was followed by a meeting to plan monument projects for the year. From the left are Mark Jones, Malinda Newhouse, Jim Ali, Ed Taylor Jr., Larry Haines, Christina Taylor, the Rev. Michael Mudge, Dale Burgess, Peggy Keene, David Burcaw, Brett Dimaio, Morriss and McKay. To learn more, visit www.chco.info.

CUMBERLAND, Md. — The Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization was recognized for its 40th anniversary at Thursday’s Allegany County commissioners meeting.

Ed Taylor Jr., president of the organization, said the group has built roughly 900 monuments valued at more than $5.5 million, roughly 90% of which has come from the private sector over the past 40 years.

He thanked county officials for their support, and praised the organization’s volunteers for their help including to mow grass in cemeteries over the years.

“Monuments are more than just a tribute to the great men and women of our country in the past,” Taylor said of the markers that tell stories of history for future generations to read.

“To date we have monuments literally in almost every cemetery in Allegany County,” he said.

Monuments are also permanent, Taylor said.

“Programs come and go, buildings come and go, but gravestones are supposed to stay there until the end of all time,” he said.

Taylor said the organization in 1991 became a charter member of the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites.

“Maryland does have the best cemetery laws,” he said.

The commissioners proclaimed Feb. 23 Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization Day.

Taylor said folks can learn more about the organization at its website chco.info.

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