PITTSBURG, Ks. — No one wants to be forgotten, but the passing of time can make things difficult.
However one Southeast Kansas project could help preserve it for the future.
“It’s really nice to get together with the people from my school, and do something outdoors in the fresh air that means a lot to us,” says Ashlan Brooks, PHS Key Club Member.
“The veterans gave everything for this country and that’s why we have our freedom and so we owe them a lot,” says Kristin Thomas, PHS Key Club Sponsor.
Since April the Pittsburg High School Key Club has been working to preserve the memory of the veterans in Mount Olive Cemetery by cleaning their headstones.
“We’re scraping them off, spraying them down with water, spraying them down with D/2, spraying them again and hoping that the sun will bleach them and they’ll look new again,” says Brooks.
Many of these fallen soldiers graves have been lost to time, some have even become unreadable.
Brooks says, “A lot of the headstones that we’re cleaning are ones that have been here for a long time, maybe their family members have passed away and they’ve been forgotten, so kind of brightening them up again is really important for the people who were buried there, just means that they’re remembered.”
The students are not alone in this endeavor, they’re being funded through a grant from the Get Busy Living Foundation.
“They have funded the purchase of the cleaning solution,” says Thomas, “Without their monetary contribution we wouldn’t be able to do this.”
While the grant is set to end next year in March, the club hopes to expand its project to other graves as well.
“Hopefully this will catch on for other groups and clubs and people who want to do it and then maybe we can spread out, once we get all the veteran headstones done we can spread out and start doing every headstone,” says Thomas, “it’s something very easy that any person can do that is such a huge payback for the community.”