CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — The Memorial Day holiday is to honor those who fought, served, and died in service to our country.
At Oakwood Cemetery in Cuyahoga Falls, the 370-plus headstones in the veterans section got a federally-approved spring cleaning, just in time for this weekend.
We call them "gardens of stone." The final resting place for the men and women who served our country, giving the ultimate sacrifice.
"We honor that with a wonderful parade and a very touching ceremony here at Oakwood Cemetery," says Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters.
In preparation for Memorial Day, flags are lowered to half-staff. This year, the porous marble headstones received a makeover. "They absorb pollutants, algae, things like that grows in them," Walters explains. "But I found a cleaner, approved by the VA, that they actually use at Arlington (Arlington National Cemetery), Rittman (Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery) and the federal cemeteries."
It's called D/2. The cleaner doesn't harm the stone or the environment, but really does the job. Mayor Walters did a test run on a headstone.
"As I kneeled down and I started to do my work on the headstone, I really felt a connection. I felt solemn. I felt I owed him this," he tells us.
Army veteran Stuart Meacham is looking forward to all the headstones shining brightly on Memorial Day. "It's beautiful to look at. It gives you a solemn, good feeling to respect those people," he says.
For Army veteran Jack Hayes, having marble markers people can read will hopefully help them remember the sacrifices that were made on their behalf. "I think it's something that was a little bit overdue but I'm glad it's being done. It's a way to honor those who have fallen and remind the universe they are not forgotten."