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Volunteers spruce up Massillon Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day holiday

Posted at 12:36 PM, May 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-11 12:36:38-04

MASSILLON, Ohio — A piece of history in Stark County got some TLC Saturday morning.

Volunteers at the Massillon Cemetery worked hard to get the grounds ready for Memorial Day.

The cemetery covers more than 60 acres and has more than 24,000 graves, including those of three Medal of Honor recipients and the Civil War Triangle, where Civil War veterans are buried.

When a strong spring storm damaged one of the mausoleums in the cemetery, volunteers gathered to clean up the wreckage — which sparked a greater concern for the overall state of the cemetery.

Volunteers wanted to pitch in and help the cemetery’s sole caretaker, so Saturday they picked up rakes and weed-whackers to help clean up leaves, dead branches, and other debris.

Specific organizations worked on areas in the cemetery that they have a connection to, but many of the volunteers were just helping to beautify a landmark that’s been a part of their community for more than a century.

“Its history. There’s a lot of history in here. That’s why we like geocaching, it takes us to the older cemeteries where we get the see this, you know, see the old stones and just kind of think, wow, these people walked on this ground where we are. You know, just a lot of history in it,” volunteer Rita Palaski said.

This is the first year the community came together for a clean up, but the volunteers who put it all together hope there will be more down the line.