Heavy Rain Causes Sinking Grave Sites - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Heavy Rain Causes Sinking Grave Sites

Mark Moses Mark Moses

By Howard Dashefsky

KANEOHE (KHNL) -- It's a shrine to honor our war veterans, but caretakers at  the State Veteran's Cemetery in Kaneohe are once again battling to give veterans the respect they deserve.

For family and friends who go to visit their loved ones, it's a sight that makes the visit all the more difficult.

And sadly, the issue of sinking gravesites in this veterans cemetery, is not a new one.

"It's mostly caused by the 17 inches of rain this weekend at the cemetery but you have to understand every grave in the world sinks," said Mark Moses, Director of Office of Veterans Services.

When the heavens open up as they did over the weekend, the saturated ground is simply overwhelmed.

In recent years groundskeepers have tried to solve the problem through a process called "hydro-mulching."

They use a wood and paper mixture to help the grass grow quicker after burials.

They also now use plastic casket liners to prevent sinkage, and have even purchased a new type of top soil.

"So we don't put the same soil back in the grave that came out of it," said Moses.  "We use a different new type of soil that's supposed to eliminate some of the sinking, but you can't eliminate it all."

Still, for Moses, and the others who care for this parcel of land, it's very personal.

They take great pride in their work, out of respect for those who are buried here.

"I'm a veteran, I don't want to see problems at a veterans cemetery," said Moses. "And I hope everyone understands it's not somebody outside saying this is what you're going to do. We are veterans and we try to take care of our cemetery."

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