Memorial Day volunteers cleanup overgrown Pottstown cemetery

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Watch the report from Christie Ileto on Action News at 11 p.m. on May 28, 2018. (WPVI)

Monday was a day to pay tribute to those who have given the last full measure of devotion. And for one dedicated group of grateful Americans, that meant tending to the final resting places of those who gave their lives long ago.

Behind a curtain of weeds are 3000 graves in Pottstown's Edgewood Cemetery.

200 of those headstone tell a story of service to this country.

"In this cemetery there's the Spanish American War, Cuba, Philippines, the great World War, World War II," said Joe Webster of Lower Providence. "You actually see the lives in the headstones. You can see they served with a certain cavalry division or served with a certain leader."

So, a small group of volunteers took it upon themselves to clean up the final resting place of all these souls -- especially the ones who served and never made it home.

"We're trying to do as much as we can," says Joe Ciresi of Limerick. "We've been out here for two-three hours now and you can see we haven't even made a dent."

"At the present time, I don't believe there's anybody that's actively working here," said David Miller of Pottstown.

Over 150 years old, the orphaned cemetery is need of routine upkeep.

"I think we need to give back on a day that people gave our lives for this country," said Joe Ciresi. "But it shouldn't only be today. So, I stress that I want people to be coming out and helping us every week if they can -- mowers, clippers, whatever you got.

As of 2015, Pottstown leaders had reportedly searched and found no one responsible for the maintenance of the cemetery.

This group of volunteers, however, is hoping with more help from the public, clean up can become a regular thing.

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societymemorial daypennsylvania newscemeteryveteransvolunteerismPottstown Borough
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