Storm damage affecting Memorial Day plans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Storm damage affecting Memorial Day plans

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As Memorial Day approaches, one cemetery is struggling to clean up a much bigger mess than normal. 

Among the normal upkeep of preparing for the Memorial weekend, the small grounds crew at Waterloo's Fairview Cemetery has been working to clean up more than a dozen large trees which toppled during last week's storm.

The damage including large limbs and even entire trees that didn't withstand the high winds.

The trees falling on top of many of the headstones, upsetting some and even causing damage to a few.

Visitors coming to lay flowers on their family's graves say they are shocked by the damage.

"To see my husband's grandparents, where you couldn't even get to the grave, that was heartbreaking; they are family," said Judy Hewitt. 

Hewitt and her husband come every year to place flowers on family graves before the Memorial weekend, but were unable to do so because of the damage.

Unfortunately, the grounds crew say they just don't have the manpower or the equipment to take care some of the larger trees that fell during that storm before the Memorial Holiday.

But that doesn't mean our veterans aren't being remembered.

More than 200 large American flags are being placed around the cemetery and countless smaller ones marking each veteran who has been laid to rest at Fairview.

A tradition, volunteers with the local AMVETS and high school Junior ROTC believe is important.

"It is something special. [The veterans] aren't all getting visited and some of them might not be getting thought about, their family could be over with. So it is important to come back to give them attention and bring their memories back to life," said Waterloo West High School Junior ROTC cadet Kira Gilbert.

The cemetery has asked the city to come and pick up the rest of trees. Unfortunately, they don't think the city will get to it before the Memorial Holiday.

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