A Call to Action! Finding the Fallen on July 30

This is a follow-up to the Join the Nationwide Service Project “Finding the Fallen” article I published at https://goo.gl/Vq0SAU on June 6. That article described a joint effort between BillionGraves and the Boy Scouts of America to honor of the veterans of the Armed Forces. Everyone is welcome to participate. This follow-up reminder was written by the folks at BillionGraves:

On July 30, 2016, in honor of the veterans of the Armed Forces, BillionGraves and the Boy Scouts of America will host the nationwide service project, Finding the Fallen. We are asking for everyone’s help to make this project a success! By joining the project, you will serve these heroes by photographing and logging the GPS locations of the headstones and markers in our national cemeteries and uploading them to the BillionGraves.com website.

To organize this commemorative event in your area, visit https://billiongraves.com/create-event/. Easy step by step instructions will guide you in selection of a National cemetery in your area and allow you to invite others to take part in this amazing project with you.

You will need to download the free Billiongraves app on your smart phone. https://billiongraves.com/mobile-device.

When you visit the cemetery, select the photo icon on the Billiongraves app. You will notice the name of the cemetery appear on the camera screen. From there just click and go! Point the camera at each individual headstone. Avoid wide shots that include other graves. Point and click! It is as easy as that! Once you have taken pictures, return to the app homepage. Click on the Photos icon and upload your images. With just a few hours of your time and the use of a cell phone, you can help preserve the memory of a soldier.

We need you to help make this service project a success! BillionGraves and the Boy Scouts of America thank you for taking the time to honor our service men and women by taking part in Finding the Fallen.

For more information about Finding the Fallen visit billiongraves.com/finding-the-fallen.

9 Comments

I wonder why it would be limited to only National cemeteries? My research takes me to very small parish and town cemeteries, as well as nearly-abandoned family cemeteries on former farmland. Generally I concentrate on those begun 200 years ago or more. Yet I see Veterans’ graves all the time, inscribed or otherwise marked as such. I see designations of Veterans from Revolutionary War through Viet Nam, as some very ancient cemeteries are still used, and may include modern descendents of those interred long before. My own father was a WW2 Veteran, and is buried in an ordinary cemetery near his hometown, along with several dozen of my ancestors, including great grandparents who died long before I was born.

Seems odd that the project would exclude thousands of former servicemen on the sole basis of where they are buried. If anything, these lesser-known cemeteries are those which are also less likely to be digitized in general, and their original interment records are sometimes not available/no longer exist.

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    I agree, Melanie. My dad and grandfather, both veterans, are buried in just a regular old cemetery as is my late father-in-law and a close friend. My grand uncle was also a vet and is also in a town cemetery. Silly to exclude everything but the national cemeteries. I think who ever came up with this project needs to do a little re-thinking.

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    May I offer a contrary opinion? I don’t know how many people re in the group organizing “Finding the Fallen” project but I know it is not a huge organization. They do not (yet) have the resources to take on a huge project involving thousands of cemeteries. Such an effort spread over the entire country would require thousands of people to organize and assist all the folks involved.

    I would hope if this year’s effort is successful, they might be able to expand in future years. Just my guess…

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Billion Graves has been collaborating with the BSA to aid Scouts in their Eagle project for some time. The work is Not limited to national cemeteries BUT this particular effort is describing a separate focus specifically on recording veterans’ graves. There is a good deal of material on their project with the Scouts and on the boys who have already become involved. I teach an annual Genealogy Badge workshop for the Boy Scouts in our area and as they grow up I have worked with several in finding and defining their Eagle project. This is a great gift to the genealogy community and the families who are searching, and is good exposure for the boys.

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I agree with Dick. I believe this effort is to capture the “big” targets first. I’m guessing there will be additional challenges to get out into other cemeteries and find the veterans buried there.

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Excluding cemeteries is doing half the job. Maybe you should wait until you have the ability to do it right.

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    It is better to start somewhere and then move on to what has not been done. People who have the information about veterans in private or town cemeteries can opt to share their findings, by documenting and publishing them so the information can be found by using search engines if Billiongraves.com is not prepared to include that information at this time.

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    FindAGrave with its significantly larger volunteer base couldn’t “do it right” as evidenced by their annual community day.

    From the BillionGraves link above,
    Where?
    In national and local cemeteries throughout the United States

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David Paul Davenport July 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

I don’t understand why BillionGraves exists. Findagrave is much easier to search and it already contains all of the headstones in the US National Cemeteries.

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