Well, if you’ve ever visited a cemetery, you’ve probably seen headstones and memorials with the names of the deceased obscured by mold and mildew.
Most Americans respect and pay tribute to dead soldiers in their own unique ways. Some people honor individuals who perished in battle through parades, memorials, recordings, or social media posts.
Sad to say, many people overlook the veterans’ final resting places. In the face of the elements, such as wind, rain, sleet, and snow, headstones are left to deteriorate.
That’s exactly what photographer and history enthusiast Andrew Lumish saw while he was strolling through a graveyard a few years back.
It all started when Andrew Lumish discovered an old and historic cemetery in Downtown Tampa, Florida, and realized many of our valiant Veterans’ final resting places had long since been forgotten.
Even though he admits to being a workaholic, Andrew finds time to enjoy and share the little pleasures in life with others through his passion for photography. He began this adventure by using thought-provoking photography to capture the beauty and rich history contained behind the walls of these outdoor cathedrals.
He was initially drawn to the distinctive artistry of the ancient, weathered monuments, which inspired him to look into the right repair methods and materials employed at our national cemeteries in the United States and her territories. He realized this was his destiny after fixing a few monuments, and he made it his life’s work to carry out this purpose, which expanded to include researching each person and remembering their life stories.
Near Tampa’s skyscrapers, in the Woodlawn Cemetery, where the headstones’ histories stretch back to 1888, Lumish can usually be spotted on Sundays. There are some soldiers’ remains who served from the Civil War through Vietnam.
Lumish has altered roughly 600 gravestones thus far. In addition to restoring their grave markers to pay tribute to them for everything they have sacrificed, he also conducts extensive historical research to unearth tales that might otherwise remain unwritten. According to Lumish, he wishes for his deeds to heighten public respect for the men and women who are now serving in the armed forces.
After a while, Andrew’s friend and ABC Action News anchor Brendan McLaughlin featured his motivational tale and gave him the moniker “The Good Cemeterian” in September of 2015. After the episode aired, the video surprisingly became popular, receiving more than 12 million views. People from all around the world were interested in learning how they could safely and properly carry out the same tasks in their own neighborhoods.
To date, thousands of lives have been remembered in the Tampa area and beyond !!
The story of “The Good Cemeterian” has been featured Nationally on a variety of different programs.
Although Andrew’s work is outstanding, it does come at a cost.
Andrew acknowledges that some untouched tombstones can take as long as three months to completely restore because the grave sites require outstanding attention to detail and, of course, expertise on how to properly restore them.
However, it’s undeniably a practice that’s illuminating the world one cemetery at a time.
Every Sunday, Andrew gets assistance from his wife, and he updates his Facebook page with before and after photos to show the progress.
We’re sure we’re not alone in championing Andrew’s efforts. It might not be the loudest of tributes, but it’s certainly something the whole of America can get behind.
Memorial Day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who met tragic ends while defending our freedom.
It is inappropriate to wish everyone a “happy” Memorial Day when the day is actually a mournful one. It is silly and inappropriate to grieve the troops who perished, said General George S. Patton. Instead, we ought to give thanks to God for their survival.
May we bow our heads in prayer and appreciation for the fallen and their families as we remember their ultimate sacrifice on Memorial Day and give God thanks for the lives they were willing to give.