Volunteers Clean Up Scranton Cemetery

SCRANTON, Pa. -- On one of the hottest days of the year, a community came together to clean up a cemetery in Scranton.

Whether weed whacking, mowing the grass, or replacing tombstones, it was a group effort in sprucing up the Washburn Street Cemetery in Scranton.

The condition of the cemetery in west Scranton made clear it was long overdue for some lawn care.

"Lot of neglect, just stones turned over and stuff," said Bill Snyder of Taylor.

"We want to get back to the way it should be, not the way that it has gotten, just a little tender love and care," said Raymond Stender of Archbald.

The group Veteran's Promise organized the cleanup at the cemetery. Veterans, along with their families, pitched in.

Flags in hand, the girls softball team from the Blakely area helped where they could.

"If there's one person doing it, it wouldn't mean a lot to the veterans. If there are more people, it would mean a lot to them," said Abigail Call, Valley Area Softball.

The excessive heat didn't stop the community from coming and taking care of knocked-over tombstones or overgrown grass, saying it was their responsibility to take care of veterans.

"We have our men and women overseas to keep us safe over here. They may have relatives in this cemetery, so it is our duty," Snyder added.

Dominic Graziano owns the cemetery and tells Newswatch 16 it fell on hard times. He says the 49 acres of land can be tough to keep up with, so he was happy with the help from the veterans.

"I really don't consider them helping me. I feel like they are helping the community. Everyone in the cemetery deserves respect, and that is what we were trying to do," said Graziano.

"We have a commitment. We promised all veterans, whether they pass or are still alive, we are going to assist in any way," added Stender.