Cookeville Knights create Cemetery of the Innocents

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Father Gervan Menezes, left, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Cookeville, visits with members of Knights of Columbus Council 6645 as they put up the Cemetery of the Innocents on the church property. The Knights are, from left, Chris Koerber, Kenny Davis, and Jim Dainty. Photo submitted by Bill Halderson

The Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Cookeville have again created the Cemetery of the Innocents in front of the church. The white crosses of this symbolic cemetery commemorate the innocent babies who suffered death because of abortion.

Each January, the Knights mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion by erecting the cemetery as a reminder that abortion kills innocents.

The Cemetery of Innocents was begun in 2011 by Knight Ron Sykes, the Right to Life coordinator for Knights of Columbus Council 6645 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. The goal of the project was to increase awareness of the cost of abortion. Every year on Jan. 22, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Sykes leads Knights and parishioners in a Rosary Rally in front of the church beside the cemetery crosses.   

Thanks to the efforts of all Right to Life supporters, abortion numbers have been steadily decreasing for many years, noted Bill Halderson, a member of Council 6645. With the court overturning Roe v. Wade, states are changing their laws concerning abortion, “but the killing of unborn babies persists,” he said.    

“The Cemetery of the Innocents is a reminder that we must continue to inform, educate, and gather support to end abortions and stop adding more innocent babies to more graveyards,” he said.

“This initiative of the Knights of Columbus council in our parish helps us remember the sanctity of all lives – from conception to natural death,” said Father Gervan Menezes, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas. “We as Catholics believe that life starts with conception, and we protect life from its beginnings. May our country realize the gift of every human being, and together let us work to protect this beautiful gift from God.”

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