Celebration Canceled but the Music Will Go On
Bell tones will ring every hour on the hour between 8am and 7pm into the future at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery. Every evening, the bells will play Taps to close the day at 8pm.
Bringing music to the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery has been a dream of the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery Advisory Board and the Fairview Community Council for more than a decade. In 2005, the groups came together to develop an improvement plan to install a carillon bell tower and seating area. Flowers, flagpoles, and a donor wall make the plaza and seating area a place to gather in a peaceful setting. The sounds bring back memories of joy.
“For me and others, the hourly bell tones serve as a gentle reminder of loved ones we have lost,” says Ernie Hall, Former Anchorage Assembly Member and volunteer fundraiser. “Thank you to the donors and charitable organizations who have helped improve this outstanding green oasis in our urban city—I’d put it up against any Cemetery, anywhere.” Hall is a former member of the Memorial Park Cemetery Board and is active on the Anchorage Park Foundation Board. He worked tirelessly to raise private funds for two years to see this project to completion. An earthquake and a pandemic did not decrease his enthusiasm, but they did slow the work and prevent a grand opening celebration.
The Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery is a municipal asset that feels like a park, but it is under the Municipal Health Department’s management. The Anchorage Park Foundation served as the non-profit fiscal sponsor for this important community project. “Ernie Hall was an ideal fundraiser—he got out his lists and just kept dialing for dollars. He would do anything for this Cemetery in his hometown,” says Beth Nordlund, Executive Director of the Anchorage Park Foundation.
The Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery is open to the public from 9am to 8pm. It is located at 535 E 9th Avenue.
Read more about the project in KTVA’s coverage of the story here.