Local & Regional
Thu May 21, 2009
Memorial Park Ready for Memorial Day
By John Durkee
Tulsa, OK – At 240 acres, Tulsa's Memorial Park Cemetery is roughly the same size as the Tulsa Fairgrounds. It is the largest cemetery in Tulsa County. Getting Memorial Park ready for the Memorial Day holiday when an estimated 25,000 visitors will converge at 51st and South Memorial Drive a mammoth job.
Jason Thames is the grounds manager. He says his crews are working hard to get the cemetery ready for the visitors. He has 13-full time members working 12-hour days to get the park ready.
There are 66,000 graves at Memorial Park. The King of Western swing, Bob Willis is buried there as is irreverent comic Sam Kinison. But the majority of the plots are filled with just regular Tulsans, and what old-timers called "Decoration-day" is still an important part of the memorial day weekend ritual.
While it may seem hard to comprehend when 25,000 people gather, even at a cemetery, some are not there with good intentions. Signs are posted around the cemetery warning that stealing floral decorations is a felony. Thames says the problem is real and they will prosecute anyone caught stealing from graves.