Sunken grave markers for military veterans at North Royalton Cemetery being fixed

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 19:30:21-04

Almost a hundred markers of military veterans in the North Royalton Cemetery are sinking into the ground.

The City of North Royalton is now working to raise and fix these sunken markers with the help of Cuyahoga County.

News 5 talked with the city council president and a Vietnam War veteran, who also works with the city, as a veteran liaison.

Veteran Walter Ohler said the effort to spruce the place up, holds deep meaning for him and his fellow veterans. He said he has noticed the sinking markers for a few years now.

“It makes me sad,” said Ohler.

Ohler works with the city to hold a number of remembrance ceremonies at the cemetery.

“It goes deep in my heart,” he said.

City officials found 96 grave markers needing to be repaired. Larry Antoskiewicz, the North Royalton City Council President said the cemetery is rich with history, going back to the 1700’s.

“Being a small cemetery, as we are to have the amount of veterans,” he said, “We've got the revolutionary war, we've got the War of 1812, we've got all the world wars, the Korean war, and so we've got such a variety, and it's very unique.”

However, the unique place is now getting buried.

“You never want to bury history,” said Antoskiewicz.

To raise the sunken grave markers, the city hired Everlasting Memorial and Monuments.

“It's for the ones that represent this country and sacrifice, the men and women of every branch of the service,” said Ohler.

This whole project is expected to cost about $7,500. The Cuyahoga County Veterans Services Commission is expected to reimburse the city, making sure the fallen are never forgotten.

“It's very special,” said Ohler.

Antoskiewicz said while weather may be a factor, the grave markers naturally sink over time. Some of the larger headstones are starting to tip over, which will be fixed in a future project.

The longest lived soldier of the American Revolution is buried at the North Royalton Cemetery. John Sheperd was the last survivor in Braddock's Defeat in 1755. He lived to be 117 years old.