This Man’s Moving Labor of Love For Veterans’ Tombstones

If you’ve ever walked through a cemetery there is usually a section of it that appears old and forgotten. For one, who calls himself “The Good Cemetarian”, those old stones are the target of his labor of love.

Andrew Lumish works six days a week as a carpet and upholstery cleaner, but on Sundays, he turns his cleaning efforts to the forgotten tombstones of military veterans in Florida. He shares his work on his Facebook page and his restorations are nothing short of miraculous.

Some of the stones have taken him as long as four months to clean completely if they are in exceptionally poor shape. Lumish is a history buff and hobby photographer who started his cleaning task after taking pictures of old graves in Oaklawn Cemetery.

He said he noticed that several of the stones that were in such poor shape were the stones of veterans. So instead of spending his day off lounging around the house, Lumish heads to the cemetery to honor the veterans that seem to be long forgotten.

He says he started cleaning the tombstones in 2013, and the first stone he restored belonged to a Civil War veteran named Henry J. Fletcher. By 2015 he had restored 300 tombstones. To clean the stones, Lumish uses a product called D/2 Biological Solution that is specific for marble, granite, and sandstone.

His work has gained attention that Lumish says he never sought. Lumish says it is the veterans who deserve the attention, not him. He says the veterans and their service have inspired him to keep coming back to the cemeteries and keep restoring tombstones.

Photos of Lumish’s work can be seen on The Good Cemeterian Facebook page as well as comments from people that are in awe of the work he is doing. “What touches me the most is that others inspired by our work have started projects in their community,” said one visitor.

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