Although it wasn’t named a U.S. federal holiday until 1971, cities across the country have held springtime ceremonies to honor fallen servicemembers dating back to the U.S. Civil War. Around the country, millions of headstones mark the rest place of America’s fallen servicemembers. On Memorial Day, families, friends, and community members commonly visit these cemeteries to pay respect to those who have served.
It was a fitting tribute to Memorial Day, then, for nearly 100 GE volunteers to dedicate portions of their week cleaning and beautifying Hillcrest Cemetery near GE Aviation’s global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. About 1,400 U.S. military veterans spanning from the Civil War to the Vietnam War are buried at this cemetery. Roughly 95% of those represent African American veterans.
Sponsored by GE Veterans Network and supported by members of the GE Women’s Network and GE African American Forum, the event was a successful and somber Memorial Day tribute, says GE Veterans Network co-leader, Brian DeGennaro.
“Cleaning up the tombstone areas and a lot of the tombstones have fallen over — we’re looking at putting them back up making sure that they are aligned,” DeGennaro told WCPO Cincinnati. “Cleaning up some of the trees and brush around the area, just to really make it that kind of place that a veteran who served their nation deserves.”
In addition to this volunteer project, GE volunteers in Jacksonville, FL; Huntsville, AL; Terre Haute, IN; Springdale, OH; Madisonville, KY; and Dayton, OH, also hosted their own Memorial Day events.
Below are photos from the week-long event at Hillcrest Cemetery.