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SRI Staff Members Participate in Significant Military Reburial Ceremonies

SRI Staff
SRI Staff Marlesa Gray (Far Left) and Kristin Sewell (Near Left), and Pima County Archaeologist Roger Anyon (Far Right) Transferring Custody of the Military Remains to Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery (SAVMC) Administrator Joe Larson (Near Right)

Bishop Gerald Kicanas Blessing the Military Remains Prior to Transport to SAVMC
Bishop Gerald Kicanas Blessing the Military Remains Prior to Transport to SAVMC

SAVMC Administrator Joe Larson and SRI Project Lab Manager Dorothy Ohman
SAVMC Administrator Joe Larson and SRI Project Lab Manager Dorothy Ohman


SRI Mortuary Analyst Kristin Sewell and U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords - AZ

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Issuing a Proclamation at the Reburial Ceremony
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Issuing a Proclamation at the Reburial Ceremony

In 2006, Statistical Research, Inc., was awarded the contract to conduct archaeological data recovery for the City of Tucson/Pima County Proposed Joint Courts Complex, in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The client is the Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Office. Previous research had demonstrated that the project area was the site of Tucson's first public cemetery, dating from the early 1860s to 1881. Upon completion of excavations in August 2008, the SRI team had excavated 1,086 graves and recovered the remains of more than 1,300 individuals. SRI also excavated several prehistoric features and numerous post-cemetery residential and commercial features within the project area. A multivolume report is currently being written on the results of the investigations.

In May, 2009, the first of several reburial/repatriation ceremonies associated with the project took place. Over several days, the remains of 57 soldiers, 1 civilian, and 3 children, which had been excavated from the military section of the cemetery, were transferred from SRI’s and Pima County’s custody to the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Sierra Vista, Arizona. Dignitaries present at the reburial included Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and many state and local officials. Media coverage was extensive, as the links below suggest:

Arizona Public Media Spotlight on SRI and the Joint Courts Archaeology Project

General Information about the Joint Courts Archaeological Project

Slideshow of events
Veterans of Foreign Wars

Civil War and Indian War reburial slideshow
Arizona Daily Star

Excavated troops on way to final rest
Arizona Daily Star

1800s soldiers reburied
Arizona Daily Star

Cavalry soldiers exhumed in Tucson to be reburied in Sierra Vista
Tucson Citizen

Diocese of Tucson Monday Memo

Former MI soldier played role in cemetery project
Sierra Vista Herald

Remains make final journey; ceremony today at veterans cemetery in Sierra Vista
Sierra Vista Herald

Soldiers’ remains arrive in SV today
Sierra Vista Herald

Making it right: Ceremony gives honorable burial to soldiers’ remains
Sierra Vista Herald

Soldiers help honor, bury remains of soldiers
Sierra Vista Herald

State balladeer uses hymn to honor soldiers
Sierra Vista Herald

Boy Scouts’ projects add to historic soldiers cemetery in Sierra Vista
Sierra Vista Herald

Video: Soldier remains put to rest
KOLD News 13 - Tucson

Video: Remains of Ft. Lowell soldiers headed to final resting place
KGUN 9 News - Tucson

Dolan Ellis performance to commemorate the reburial of Union soldiers

Video: Ariz. soldiers killed in late 1800s reburied
KPHO News 5 - Phoenix

Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford's photolog of reburial events

Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford's remarks to Congress about reburial

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