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North Shore Volunteers Work To Restore Veterans' Graves

BEVERLY (CBS) - On this Veterans Day in Beverly, there was no remembrance at the Central Cemetery on Hale Street. But in the early morning hours, volunteers were up working to make sure the final resting place of every veteran gets the dignity it deserves.

"It's a way of showing them respect long after they're gone," Ken McKay Jr. says.

They're restoring veterans' graves as part of the North Shore Cemetery Preservation Project, all started by Ken McKay Jr.

"Through my travels, you look around at some of the conditions of the veteran stones and its deplorable," McKay says. "Broken stones, leaning, tilting, sunken stones."

McKay and his group of dedicated volunteers dig up clean off and realign each stone no matter how heavy or tedious it may be.

Ken's brother Anthony, a master mason, does most of the work.

Once a stone is cleaned, they move on to the next. So far they've fixed more than 100.

"It's going to be a never-ending process," McKay says. "In Beverly alone I've listed 611 Civil War veterans."

Ken, who is disabled, was never given the opportunity to serve but comes from a large military family. He says this is his way of giving back and saying thank you.

"It means that these people, some of whom were killed in action or died from wounds received in action, it means they are getting the respect they deserve," McKay says.

"Thank a veteran past and present."


CLICK HERE to donate to the North Shore Cemetery Preservation Project.

For more information visit the North Shore Cemetery Preservation Project's Facebook page.


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