Looking after a cemetery is not just the responsibility of the cemetery owners and maintenance staff but rather a community effort because the cemetery represents the community members who came before and paved the way. So when one cemetery was vandalized, local volunteers and churches helped to make it right.
The historic Wesleyan Cemetery is the final resting place of Civil War veterans and Cincinnati Red Stocking’s 3rd baseman Frederick Waterman, but when Rev. Victor Addis, of the Biker Church Cincinnati, visited the cemetery where his father and other family members were buried, he was shocked to see the damage done to the cemetery by vandals and this past Saturday, he and volunteers took the step to clean up the mess.
“‘They may have died in the 1800’s, early 1900’s, but they still are somebody and they deserve a little bit of dignity in their death,’ said Rev. Addis (Volunteers, Kelley).”
Volunteers from the Grace of God Church in Norwood, Biker Church Cincinnati and Bikers of the Cross Cincinnati joined Rev. Addis to work on restoring the cemetery. Much of the damage was from the headstones of loved ones being knocked over and a family vault was left open. The group took it upon themselves to put the headstones back in place. Even local youth helped with the clean up efforts.
Even though there was a good start to restoring the cemetery, the volunteers know that there is still more work to be done.