No one knows exactly how many Union soldiers are buried anonymously in Pioneer Cemetery on Kansas University's West Campus.
Some estimate it could be five or 10. Some estimate it's closer to 100. Whatever the number, there now is a more suitable reminder of their legacy.
On Monday, a group of about 50 people gathered at Pioneer Cemetery for a ceremony dedicating a refurbished monument to the unknown Union soldiers killed in the Civil War.
"Brothers, salute the dead," said Mike Anderson, commander of the Sgt. Samuel J. Churchill Camp No. 4 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
The group has raised about $1,000 in the past two years to put a new surface and plaque on the monument, which originally was dedicated in June 1906 by the Grand Army of the Republic, a group of former Union soldiers.
In recent years, the monument had fallen into disrepair, with cracks running along the exterior.
"We spent a lot of time and trouble to try to get this accomplished," said Bob Wandel, the camp's secretary and treasurer, who read from the original dedication speech during the ceremony.
It was one of several Lawrence events on Monday organized to honor the dead, especially those who served in the military. About 200 people gathered for a 10 a.m. ceremony led by the American Legion at Oak Hill Cemetery in East Lawrence.
Among those attending were Bill Leonard, 87, who came to honor his wife, Wilda, who served as an IBM operator for the U.S. Navy during World War II.
"It means everything, as far as my wife and I are concerned," Leonard said of the holiday.
Wilda Leonard died in January 2006, and this year, a flag in her honor was added to the "Avenue of Flags" that's put on display at the cemetery each Memorial Day.
Jerry Hanson, post commander of Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 of the American Legion, said during the ceremony that Memorial Day is for "those who served in the military, all those who supported them and all the people who you wish to keep in your hearts on a sunny day like this."
About 100 people attended an 11 a.m. ceremony organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars at Memorial Park Cemetery, where City Commissioner Mike Amyx was the keynote speaker.
"You are doing an important thing, making a difference, by being here today," he said.