To the editor:
I was in Union Cemetery before Memorial Day - what a dump. I went back on the Sunday before Memorial Day and saw some improvement.
The previous Monday, they had placed the most phoney American flags on the veterans' graves, however, they did put the bright American flags on the graves for Memorial Day.
This whole cemetery is in dire need of having its roads paved and trimming done around trees, benches, stones and buildings. Trees need to be trimmed or cut down. You could probably get a coal bucket full of limbs, sticks, tree stumps, etc. There's a lot of trash to be picked up. Dozens of tombstones need to be erected and things need to be painted. The wrought iron fence at the entrance need to be overhauled.
I talked to a member of the board of directors a couple of years ago with no luck. Last year, I talked to the superintendent with stone ears. The superintendent and board of directors should be able to get some grants for maintenance. The city has grant writers who surely could help Union Cemetery get money. You also have the colleges, who could help if asked.
In helping with the cleanup, they could get assistance from the colleges, Scout troops and organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, church groups, American Legion, DAV, etc. Prisoners could be used - a good job could reduce a sentence, plus get them off the taxpayer payroll.
As this cemetery is a national historical cemetery, I am sure a there is grant money that can be obtained from the federal and state governments. Also, help could be obtained from elected officials on the federal and state levels, as well as county and city officials.
Someone has to organize this effort from beginning to end. If the superintendent and directors can't do the job, we need to find someone who will. If you find this hard to believe, take a ride to Union Cemetery.