OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Overgrown and uncared for, a metro cemetery has prompted a local veteran to take charge in getting it cleaned up.
The cemetery just east of Douglas Boulevard and SE 59th Street isn’t very well kept with lots of overgrown grass and even some trash lying around. However, Gordon Wheeler and the veterans organization he’s apart of among others are hoping to change that.
“In this condition, it’s heartbreaking,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler has been scoping out the cemetery for some time and, of course, isn’t too happy with its condition.
“I hope when I’m in the ground that my kids take better care of my grave than what these folks have here,” he said.
His wife had an idea. Why not clean it up? But he can’t do it alone at his age.
“We got four different organizations, veterans’ groups that are coming together,” Wheeler said. “We’re going to weed eat, we’re going to mow, we’re going to clean headstones. Some of them that are tipped over, we’re going to get them standing up right. We’re going to make the cemetery look like a cemetery.”
A 78-year-old Vietnam veteran himself, he’s part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9969 in Del City. After some research and seeing headstones going back to the early to mid-1800’s, he found there’s several veterans buried there. He said there are four from the Civil War, one from World War I, four from World War II, and one from the Korean War.
“I just happen to have a list here,” Wheeler said. “There may be others that aren’t on this list that I found.”
Another half of the cemetery is mowed and well kept, but only has a few headstones. Wheeler isn’t sure why the other half isn’t managed. But he said he will take care of it if no one else will.
“We veterans all believe that we need to help our help our neighbors take care of things,” Wheeler said.
The cleanup will be Saturday at 10 a.m. Wheeler said they plan to put flags on the veterans graves as well. They will also come back on Memorial Day to make sure they’re in good shape.