Twenty Hours Documenting Gravestones
Jaden Strider Bono, 2nd Degree Black Belt at Middleburg Martial Arts and 2021 Graduate of Oakleaf High School chose a community service project that was unusual and meaningful. Mr. Bono documented three local cemeteries and documented the information of the deceased so that it would be available to the public. Mr. Bono chose this community service project to fulfill his 20-hour community service requirement to receive his 2nd Degree Black Belt at Middleburg Martial Arts.
The process was fairly simple. Mr. Bono signed up as a volunteer with Billiongraves.com and got to work. He visited Jacksonville Memory Gardens on Blanding Blvd, Johns Cemetery in Jennings State Forest, and Sellers Cemetery in Jacksonville. Mr. Bono was able to compete both Johns and Sellers Cemeteries and about 300 gravestones at Jacksonville Memory Gardens. Mr. Bono signed onto the app for Billiongraves.com, took clear pictures of each headstone, then uploaded them to the website. Once back at home, he could transcribe the data and make any necessary corrections.
Through Mr. Bono’s work, over 700 people were added to the large database managed by billiongraves.com. The public now has access to that information. This is a benefit to family and genealogists researching and looking for their relatives. John’s Cemetery is a small cemetery with less than 100 graves and it is tucked away on a path through Jennings State Forest. Few people seem to visit and the documentation serves as a way to preserve the records of the dead buried there.
Jaden Strider Bono is an active member and instructor at Middleburg Martial Arts. In addition to training, he volunteers twice a week instructing classes and performing various administrative duties. He will be moving to Missouri in the fall to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia (MIZZOU) pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5th-degree Master Jan Lappin, a Middleburg resident, founded Middleburg Martial
Arts in 2001. Both schools Fleming Island and Middleburg teach Tang Soo Do
based on the systems developed by Grandmaster Shin and the World Tang Soo
Do Association. Learn more at MiddleburgMartialArts.com or start your free
month of virtual classes by visiting VirtualKarate.org.