Thanks to Desch Paine Memorials, 15 headstones at the Nebraska Veterans Memorial Cemetery are standing a little bit prouder.
The Grand Island company provided the labor and materials free of charge Tuesday.
Desch Paine Memorials, 3805 W. Old Potash Highway, “just wanted to thank our veterans in this way,” said Hannah Syms, the store manager and memorial counselor.
Dawn and Eric Fye, who set up monuments for the company, labored for five hours, beginning at 10 a.m.
“They did a wonderful job,” said Dave Davis of Grand Island, who took photographs of the work. The Fyes worked hard, he said.
The couple leveled and repaired upright markers. They dug around the stones, lifted them up and placed a compound underneath. They also used the compound to seal some of the stones.
The Fyes, who live in Marquette, weren’t able to fit their truck into the cemetery. So they did the work with a pry bar, three shovels, a tape measure and a wheelbarrow. If they had a crane with them, they would’ve been able to tackle a couple of more markers. But they didn’t.
“We did it all by hand,” Dawn Fye said. “It was just a great honor to be able to do this for our veterans.”
A large group of people took part in a cleanup of the cemetery Sept. 12.
“We had 80 volunteers out there,” Davis said. “We cleaned 1,000 headstones that day.”
At that time, Davis talked to someone from Desch Paine about resetting and resealing some of the stones.
The work was done “just as a service to the veterans,” Syms said. “We really hope they know how much we appreciate how much they’ve done.”
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