Northern Michigan Man Gives Back to Civil War Veterans in a Unique Way

A Northern Michigan man is on a mission to honor our nation’s heroes in a simple and quiet way.

Scott Schwander has spent the last year cleaning gravestones of Civil War veterans in Traverse City.

Schwander says it’s the least he can do to honor the lives of those who sacrificed so much.

He’s now scrubbed hundreds of gravestones at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City.

I thought that since it hadn’t been done somebody needed to do it,” Scott Schwander, Memorial’s Officer.

He’s honoring these veterans in a unique way.

“I started scrubbing a couple of stones then one thing led to another and five months later we’ve gotten through the whole cemetery,” says Schwander.

268 gravestones later and Scott has cleaned every single one. Calling it a work in progress.

“Anybody that was in the Civil War and they were a soldier we have cleaned them,” says Schwander.

Doing it all for the veterans who paid the ultimate price with a personal connection himself.

“My great-great grandfather and his brother enlisted in Isabella County they saw terrible battles,” says Schwander.

That begin his motivation to take his time to scrub, rinse and wash each Civil War veterans gravestones.

Washing away years of dirt on these stones.

“They all fought the same war and they were all comrades and they were all soldiers and they were some of the nation’s oldest soldiers and they were basically forgotten and neglected by time,” says Schwander.

“There is a sense of accomplishment but it’s not it’s for me it’s for them,” says Schwander.

Scott plans to continue cleaning gravestones to honor the memory of veterans.


Categories: Michigan This Morning