Veterans Cemetery Ready for Memorial Day - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Veterans Cemetery Ready for Memorial Day

Groundskeeper Herring Kalua inspects gravesites at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe. Groundskeeper Herring Kalua inspects gravesites at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Since 1868, Memorial Day has been a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. There are 20-to 25 new burials at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery every week. Many of them are veterans and fallen heroes. So when Memorial Day comes around, the crew makes an effort to work extra hard.

Groundskeeper Herring Kalua inspects the gravesites everyday. Heavy rains caused this grave to sink. So he and his crew will have to put more dirt to level the ground.

"We kind of know where all the fallen soldiers are," says Kalua.

Kalua takes pride in his work out of respect for the veterans.

"It's an emotional job to because we help with the services and deal with the grieving families. And we see the young men coming back from Iraq when they come back and they have their ceremonies here, we see 200-300 hundred cars lined up," says Kalua.

There's always work to be done. He checks the vases, empties the trash and takes care of the lawn.

"Two years ago during the legislative session we were granted $750,000 to get the cemetery fixed," says Edward Cruickshank, Veterans Services director.

Last year, the ground in the cemetery was sinking. Crews began hydro-mulching the new gravesites so the grass grows faster. Those who visit the cemetery have noticed a big difference.

Orville Bolin, who visits his wife's gravesite everyday has seen a big improvement from last year.

"With the budget they have I think they're doing a pretty good job," says Bolin.

For Herring Kalua, his reward will be when folks remember and pay tribute to those who have died for our country.

"Memorial Day we always try to kick it up a notch."

Governor Linda Lingle is holding a Memorial Day ceremony at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery Monday at 1p-m.

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