Route 66 News

Class project helps identify Civil War tombstones in Odell cemetery


Odell Township Cemetery, Odell, IL

As Memorial Day approaches, do yourself a favor and read this amazing story from the Chicago Tribune about a schoolteacher who guided his students to identify worn tombstones of once-forgotten Civil War soldiers at a cemetery overlooking Route 66 in Odell, Illinois.

The Tribune also created a video about the Operation Gravestone project, which likely will make a huge impact for cemeteries across the country.

Operation Gravestone obviously makes a big emotional impact on veterans. But award-winning teacher Paul Ritter’s guidance will make a big impact on his students as well. They not only learned, but they became problem-solvers and grew more empathetic when they saw how their efforts were appreciated.

And to think it all started because a veteran asked the teacher: “Did you ever think about finding out who’s buried in those seven graves?”

(Screen capture from Chicago Tribune video of Odell Township Cemetery in Odell, Illinois)


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