She was inspired during a visit to her brother’s grave in the cemetery as she drove past unadorned veterans’ graves — a sight that tugged at her heart.
“I was disappointed at the bareness of the graves,” Borges-Soto said. “Although the cemetery keeps up the gravesites, I thought there should be a flag, wreath or flowers on each veteran’s grave. The veterans served us, and now it’s time for us to serve them.”
She enlisted a high school friend, Michelle Light, and together they bought patriotic supplies to adorn the graves.
Each grave within the Little Arlington section of Tracy Cemetery, 501 W. Schulte Road, received an American flag and two bunches of flowers. Wreaths were placed at the markers that lacked vases to hold flowers.
“I have received phone calls from family members that thank us for putting flowers on their father’s or grandfather’s grave,” Borges-Soto said. “Sometimes the family of that veteran has moved away and can no longer go to the gravesite and add the flag or the flowers. It feels good to hear from the family and know they like this project.”
One of the beneficiaries is Jan Graham, a former Tracy resident, whose father’s grave is among those decorated by the group.
“I am very appreciative of what Jenese’s group is doing to recognize our veterans,” Graham said. “My dad’s family first moved to Tracy about 1934. My great-grandmother, my grandparents, my parents and my dad’s brother are all buried in the Tracy cemetery. Every time I visit Tracy, I make it a point to pay my respects at the cemetery.”
Eldean Wright Harmon, Graham’s father, was a World War II veteran and died Nov. 5, 1985.
Borges-Soto also created a Facebook page named “Gone But Not Forgotten Veterans Project.” Family members can view photos of the adorned graves and also post photos of their own.
Borges-Soto is asking the public for donations to keep the project going. Donations can be made through a PayPal link set up on the Facebook page. Flowers can also be dropped off at Curves for Women, 2513 N. Tracy Blvd.
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