Local veterans revisit history through cemetery restoration project

Local News

HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — For the past five years, the Sons of the American Legion have maintained the Union A.M.E. Cemetery in Hollidaysburg, but the new phase of the project is bringing its history back to life.

“You don’t get a chance very often to work on history,” Simon Wade, owner of Simons Masonry and Concrete, said.

Wade and his crew go a step further and research who these people are after their headstones were at one point illegible.

“You get a certain connection with them. You spend quite a bit of time working on the stone and that enables you to look them up, see where they’re from. You get a connection with them, and it’s been that way with every one of them here,” Wade said.

In2019, the Sons of the American Legion decided to redo all of the headstones at the cemetery.

“We don’t know much. We don’t know who owns it,” Ron Imler, member of the Sons of the American Legion, Squadron 516, said.

And they continue to learn more each day.

“It’s like Archeology and History mixed, and we get to bring their names back to the forefront and give them the recognition that they deserve,” Scott Whittle, Employee of Simons Masonry and Concrete, said.

The cemetery does not have an official owner, but it is a tax exemption for Hollidaysburg Borough.

It’s believed that a good number of African American soldiers fro the Civil War Era are buried there.

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