I read the Daily Sentinel article: “ Volunteers say ‘thank you’ to those who passed” (Jan. 28 issue). In my life, I have walked through many cemeteries in many US states. I have put flowers at graves of countless relatives and taken pictures of headstones. In many ways, a headstone, tombstone, crypt inscription, or military-marker may be the only thing that tells anything about a person.

I have seen markers for young babies who only lived a few days to people who have lived over 101 years. When headstones are legible, it is a treasure trove of genealogical information. I have cleaned stones that became covered with dirt and moss.

I have also delicately ‘scrubbed’ headstones with a #2 pencil and paper to capture exquisite carvings of beautiful poems and inscriptions that describe the deceased or words which the deceased-person held dear. Preserving history from being lost is a worthy endeavor. Scrubbing their headstones preserves their human persona and their humanity. It’s a matter of dignity. God bless the efforts of all volunteers.

James A. Marples

Longview

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