Community Rallies to Restore Cemetery Stones - Volunteers Needed May 27th!
Last October, the Bennington community was shocked to discover that the town’s historic Village Cemetery had been vandalized. The vandals had overturned approximately 200 gravestones in a cemetery that is the final resting place for about 2100 souls dating back to the 1700s.
The shock and disgust at this despicable act turned quickly to something more positive… a resolve to restore the stones. Volunteers turned out by the dozen to reset ALL of the overturned stones on just one memorable autumn day. But more work remained… some of the stones were broken and would need more work to be restored than just lifting them upright again.
In coordination with the Vermont Old Cemeteries Association (VOCA), May 27, 2023, was set as the date to do as much repair of gravestones as possible. VOCA will provide the expertise, but volunteers are needed for the work. “We’ve already had about a dozen folks reach out who are interested in helping” notes Bennington Communications Coordinator Jonah Spivak. “Memorial Day weekend is maybe not the best day to attract volunteers… but in a way it is appropriate as it is the day that honors US service people who died while serving our country. We have veterans from probably every war in this cemetery. We will be honoring their service with this work.”
If you are interested in volunteering, you can meet at the Village Cemetery on May 27 between 8 am and noon. Bring work gloves. Refreshments will be provided. While some work includes lifting and heavier work, we also need folks to help with cleaning stones and helping with food; let us know if you would prefer to help with the lighter work. If you are interested, please contact Jonah Spivak at 802-445-1335 or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can know how many people to expect. Any amount of time you can spare would be appreciated.