HAZLE TOWNSHIP — A band of brothers. That’s how one Vietnam veteran describes his relationship with soldiers from the Civil War. That’s why vets are paying respects to those who died so long ago.
At St. Patrick`s Cemetery near Hazleton, members of Amvets Post 1 in McAdoo are doing what they can to spruce up the graveyard. Volunteer Richard Dvorscak said the cemetery holds the remains of those who served our nation some 150 years ago.
“The last burial in this cemetery was 1901 and they are all Civil War veterans, to respect our veterans and that`s why we come here and maintain this,” Dvorscak said.
The cemetery is owned by the Diocese of Scranton. It gave the Amvets permission to clean it up. Dvorscak said it’s come a long way over the past four years.
“The weeds were waist high. You couldn’t see half of the tombstones, you could only see the high tombstones. It was a shame! In the beginning we ruined a lot of equipment with the stones that were buried. We couldn’t see where we were cutting,” he said.
Volunteer and veteran Larry Kelly is proud of what they’ve accomplished.
“When we first came over here to look at this place, it was so disrespectful to the brave men that are buried here. We decided to clean it up,” Kelly said.
The vets at St. Patrick’s Cemetery have a deep respect for the Civil War dead. John Nesgoda said the modern age allowed him to reach out for volunteers.
“I sent out the emails to all the guys to do the cemetery and this is the response we get,” Nesgoda said.
The veterans said they’ll be back this fall at St. Patrick`s cemetery and with the help of the Boy Scouts, they’ll do even more sprucing up.