The Great Big Story catches up with a Florida man who goes spends his days off cleaning and restoring the graves of American veterans.
Dubbed a “good cemeterian” by local media, Andrew Lumish of the Tampa area has been spending his spare time on his one-man mission for the past four years and estimates he has transformed between 500 and 600 monuments in that time.
“When I realized that monuments of those who served our country and fought for the freedoms that we enjoy today were in disrepair and in poor condition it upset me,” he says.
Lumish looks for stones covered in mold and buildup rendering them unreadable and brings them back to honor the veterans they memorialize. Working with soap, water, brushes, Q-tips and elbow grease, he may spend several months completing a restoration.
Lumish says the monuments are more than stones, they were people with stories, and above all, Americans.
“I can’t allow that to be forgotten.” he says.