Navy vet continues to clean graves of veterans across Southwest Florida

One Fort Myers veteran is Inspiring People to honor our nation’s heroes by cleaning up their final resting place. Trae Zipperer served in the United States Navy, and now he’s continuing to serve by cleaning the headstones of veteran grave sites around Southwest Florida.

“This is an opportunity to show our respect for the military, and let them know that we won’t forget them,” Zipperer said.

He started the By Memorial Day organization to bring more attention and hands to his goal of every veteran gravesites across the country being cleaned ‘by memorial day’ of this year. Zipperer said he’s currently working to get a bill written that would require and regulate the upkeep of veteran headstones, so they would not be allowed to become covered in algae, to sink into the ground, or fall into disrepair.

“We need the law that tells them this will not stand, and we need a protocol of what to do and how to keep these stones clean,” Zipperer said.

Zipperer has already organized and led four cemetery cleanups around Southwest Florida, including sites in North Fort Myers, Lehigh, and Fort Myers.

“This is something that young people when they put their hands on these stones they can understand the cost of freedom,” Zipperer said.

On Saturday, February 22nd, the Navy veteran is once again inviting anyone to help him beautify the headstones of veterans buried at the Fort Myers Cemetery at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Henderson Avenue. That cleanup effort will begin at 10 a.m. and Zipperer said he demonstrates how to properly clean headstones using tools and chemicals he can provide and you can also find listed on his website.

“This is something that could bring us together as a country.”

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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