KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is restoring headstones for veterans buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.
There are more than 30,000 plots at Elmwood, a place rich in history. Among those buried there is James McGee, a veteran of the War of 1812.
Each resting place is special to volunteer, Brad Finch.
“I love this cemetery so much,” Finch said. “I’ve been coming here for like 30 years.”
And with that a duty to restore the headstones here.
“They should always be clean,” Finch said. “They should never be dirty. I’ve researched how to do it and I enjoy the work.”
First, Finch sprays a specially ordered biological solution on the stone. He lets it sit and work for 10-15 minutes, then starts gently scraping, followed by some brushing, before light sprays with water.
Finch’s work revealed a name and company on a headstone Monday, Augustus Muloney of the 72nd Ohio Infantry Regiment. Muloney was in the Union Army during the Civil War.
“This was a veteran,” Finch said. “He deserves respect. The stone should never be that dirty. I love cemeteries, and it disturbs me when the headstone is illegible. It loses its purpose if you can’t read who it’s for.”
Finch eventually wants to start a business doing this, but so far, hasn’t accepted a penny. He is serving those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The ones who didn’t come home alive,” Finch said. “That’s giving your all is what that is.”
In a place where each plot is special, Finch uses some elbow grease to keep them timeless.
Finch says that same solution, which attacks the growth and makes it more difficult to come back, is also used at Arlington National Cemetery.
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