As Memorial Day approaches, area maintenance crews are extremely busy mowing cemeteries and trimming around grave markers in preparation for those who will visit the graves of loved ones to pay their respects. This year, maintenance workers from the village of Batavia and Batavia Township have been working side by side, going the extra mile, to ready Batavia Union Cemetery for the holiday weekend, May 23 – 25.
During the week before Memorial Day weekend, the crews reset markers in the oldest section of the cemetery. Many of the markers had fallen into disrepair over the years and with no remaining family members living nearby to tend the graves, they have been seemingly forgotten.
“We have reestablished 72 markers,” said Wayne Smith, maintenance supervisor for the village of Batavia. “This is something that the cemetery board has been wanting the township and village to work together on and get done. It has been our honor to do this.”
"This maintenance is planned in advance," said Ken Embry, maintenance supervisor in Batavia Township. "Since it is a jointly owned cemetery, we schedule a couple work days each year to help with the cemetery cleanup and help offset some of the costs."
Smith is also the sexton for the cemetery and said he has plans to complete seeding and trimming around the graves before Memorial Day.
The Batavia Union Cemetery board also called upon Donald Franze to restore the cannon at the entrance of the cemetery.
"The cemetery board has been wanting to do something with the cannon for a number of years," said board member Lee Cornett. "We had Donald Franze sandblast it and repaint it. We also cleaned up the area around the cannon and have plans to add some landscaping."
The secretary for the cemetery board, Ann Lock agreed to plant flowers around the base of the cannon. She has enlisted the help of Kathy Turner and will have flowers planted before the holiday weekend.