Gravestone cleaner preserves memories of fallen heroes

Clark Fouraker reports. 7/3/17

TAMPA, Fla. -- If old graves that mark the final resting place of those who have fought in our world's most famous wars are meant to honor sacrifice, it seems only honorable to clean them.

"It's hard to put into words the sacrifice, the choices a lot of the service men and women put forth to serve their country and preserve our rights," said Andrew Lumish.

Without words, Lumish has committed to preserving their memory and spends most Sundays cleaning monuments at a cemetery in Tampa.

"Monuments from everyone whose served our country, from all the conflicts, from Seminole Indian Wars to the Spanish American War to World War Two, they were in poor condition, they weren't maintained," said Lumish.

 

 

Initially, Lumish was just planning to shoot photos of the headstones but then decided what he saw through the lens needed to change.

"I trained myself on how to properly restore them. I purchased the products I needed to do it and I began to one by one restore the monuments."

One by one, he's now restored enough headstones in the cemetery that it's begging to get noticed.

"I generally bring with me 25 gallons of water with me every Sunday when I do restorations," said Lumish.

"I bring them in 5 gallon jugs. It's very strategically chosen brushes because I use a soft bristle brush equivalent to a tooth brush and I start at the top and work my way down the monument."

It's not just good will that's kept him cleaning, but these veterans' service. 

"They weren't heros in their time, but when I tell the story to an audience now, the audience roars 'this guy was a hero'," Lumish said. "It's about the individuals I'm restoring and the respect they deserve."

 

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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