Community comes together to restore veterans’ final resting place


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Albert Therriault, left, Robert “Bobby” Patry, Sam DiBlasio, Dean Schaaf and Donn Weaver gather to display the donation by the Military Officers Association of America toward the restoration of the Brevard Veterans Cemetery.

SENIOR LIFE David Reigada

 

On the grounds of Brevard Veterans Cemetery, the Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral Chapter (MOAACC) recently presented the Friends of the Cemetery with a $1,500 donation. It will be applied to the cemetery restoration.

“We are planning to purchase a historical marker for the cemetery,” said Sam DiBlasio, instrumental in the restoration. “This donation will help with the cost.”

The final resting place of 126 veterans, including a World War I veteran and three women veterans, the Brevard Veterans Cemetery is located at 1143 Day Street in Titusville.

DiBlasio explained that the cemetery was found neglected a few years ago.

“It was Titusville’s best kept secret,” he said. “Many did not even know it existed. The small cemetery was so overgrown that the gravestones could not be seen.”

A fundraising vehicle, Friends of the Cemetery was formed by DiBlasio, Robert Patry, Tom Stewart and Albert Therriault.

Individuals and organizations rose to the cause. Organizations include the Alpha Friends of Indian River City United Methodist Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4228, the American Legion Posts 1 and 359, the Pilot Club and Boy Scouts Troop 488 of St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church.

Overgrowth was cleared, shrubs were trimmed and gravestones cleaned, some even scrubbed with a toothbrush. DiBlasio credits the Boy Scouts for cleaning the gravestones.

“Everyone involved in the restoration is honoring our veterans while uniting the community,” he said.

Progress has been made, such as the installation of six flagpoles with six service flags. But the restoration is ongoing and donations are needed.

“Right now, we are planting trees and redoing the cremated grave locations by removing weeds, rocks and installing colored stones and a border. Then we need sod and shrubs, DiBlasio said.”

Those wishing to contribute, can write checks for the cemetery restoration to VFW Post #4228.

Mail to Friends of the Cemetery, 777 Peachtree St. Titusville, FL 32780.

Donors will receive a letter of confirmation from the VFW. 

For additional information, call DiBlasio at 321-222-8738 or email him at diblasiosam@gmail.com.

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