Al Gore Jr. has been one of the distinguished visitors at the annual Mt. Zion Picnic and Cemetery Decoration Day, which is preparing to celebrate its 99th year with a full day of activities this Saturday.
Gore attended the picnic back in 1978, which was shortly after he was elected to Congress as its 4th District representative. Joe E. Nunley extended the invitation to Gore by letter.
“I hope to hear you will be able to be our guest,” wrote Nunley in a letter dated June 28, 1978. “It’s just a church and a cemetery, but on the first Saturday in August it takes its place as the granddaddy of all the country cemetery days.”
Gore, who would be elected to serve as vice president under Bill Clinton, accepted the invitation and thanked Nunley for the offer in a letter dated Aug. 30, 1978.
“I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how much I enjoyed being with you for your annual decoration day at Mt. Zion Cemetery,” wrote Gore. “This is clearly one of the best demonstrations of community involvement I have ever witnessed.”
The first such event was organized at Mt. Zion as a cemetery maintenance and cleanup effort in 1916. This year’s event will begin at 9 a.m. when the concession stand opens and extend into the evening. Live music is scheduled for the afternoon, which will be followed by a cake walk.
The Balloon Man will be onsite in the afternoon to provide entertainment for the young and old. Prizes will be given away throughout the day and several silent auction items are expected.
Any proceeds will go toward the long-term upkeep of the cemetery grounds.