Volunteers working to clean up Homestead cemetery

PITTSBURGH — A group of volunteers is making sure the sacrifices made by veterans more than a century ago won’t be forgotten.

The gravestones of more than 30 veterans of the Civil War and Spanish American War inside the Homestead Cemetery in Munhall have eroded to the point where they are unrecognizable.

But over the last year, the Homestead Cemetery Association has been working to identify who is buried in each plot and properly mark their gravestones.

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“Most of them have been so seriously damaged from acid rain from all of the steel mills in the area that basically the inscriptions had eroded away over time,” explained Ellis Michaels with the Homestead Cemetery Association.

A handful of gravestones have been replaced so far, but for the Homestead Cemetery Association plenty of work remains.

Board member Kyra Mangold-Ostovich says replacing the markers is an important step in preserving the history of her community — reminding veterans that even a century later, their sacrifice isn’t forgotten.

“the fact that we’re able to just honor veterans generally has been truly humbling. It’s nice to be able to recognize these people for their service as union soldiers.”

The plan is to replace nearly three dozen of these damaged headstones between now and Veterans Day.

If you would like to help out, click here.