Volunteers work to clean up dilapidated memorial park in Pearl City

Volunteers work to clean up dilapidated memorial park in Pearl City

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scores of volunteers from the Pearl City community gathered Saturday in effort to clean up and restore the dilapidated Sunset Memorial Park.

Over 125 people showed up to clean and care for the cemetery, hauling away dozens of bags of trash and debris.

Organizers said because there is no regular maintenance or security at the cemetery, the memorial park is often the target of vandalism.

In 2017, vandals broke into a tomb and ripped someone’s remains from their resting place. And in 2018, vandals disturbed an urn at the cemetery as well as trashed numerous gravesites.

Because of these incidents, volunteers came out to the cleanup event to help those with loved ones buried at the park.

“There are still families here trying to find their gravesites because they’ve collapsed and been covered over, so it’s so important that we help them out,” said Larry Veray, a chair for the Pearl City Neighborhood Board.

“We take care, not only our family, but we take care this whole area,” said Maureen Andrade, a volunteer who came out to the event.

“With this clean up, it helps, we try to do it maybe twice a year. We need more help from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and trying to get people to understand what we do and why we do it.”

Organizers said they are trying to get the state or the city to take over the cemetery.

They said although those plans are currently in limbo, state lawmakers have secured money for a contractor to map out the gravesites after the records were lost in a fire years ago.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.