|Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne (left) recognizing John Hort for his volunteer service to Yorktown National Cemetery.|
WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recently presented John Hort, a resident of Newport News, Virginia, with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for outstanding volunteer service to the country. Mr. Hort is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and recipient of the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf, and has been a volunteer at the Yorktown National Cemetery for over thirteen years, amassing over 5,000 hours of volunteer service.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award, created by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, is the highest award for volunteerism to be bestowed on Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.
Hort came to the Secretary’s attention through Take Pride in America®, a national Department of the Interior program that promotes volunteer service on America’s public lands. Take Pride in America helps citizens find volunteer opportunities and thanks them through recognition programs.
“I am honored to present this well-deserved award to John Hort, who has contributed so much to help maintain the legacy of Yorktown National Cemetery,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “He has touched nearly every part of the cemetery and serves as a vivid example of how each person can make a difference.”
Mr. Hort’s work is all the more remarkable due to the fact that he undertook this task on his own. In the last year alone, Mr. Hort has given over 650 hours of his time, working no less than four days a week, to help maintain the integrity of Yorktown National Cemetery.
“The effect John Hort has had on Yorktown National Cemetery and its legacy can not be overstated,” said Heather Roebke, Executive Director of Take Pride in America. His dedication to this great cemetery serves as a shining example of the spirit of volunteerism across this country.”
On a weekly basis, Hort mows the lawn on the graves area as well as edges each of the individual graves. In addition, Hort maintains the maintenance equipment, places flags on the graves during Memorial Day (over 1600), and plants trees and shrubs around the cemetery.
For more information on Take Pride in America, please visit us on the web at www.TakePride.gov, or email us at Thomas_Hase@ios.doi.gov for more detailed information on John Hort’s work. Attached photo is Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne (left) and John Hort (right).
Photo attached: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne (left) recognizing John Hort for his volunteer service to Yorktown National Cemetery.