By Breanna Francis
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — When Melissa Gantt and her boyfriend, Donald, moved back to Martinsburg from North Carolina, they were heartbroken to see the Green Hill Cemetery had gotten overgrown, swept to the side and generally lacking in the love and attention she felt it deserved.
Gantt, now the primary caretaker and board member for Green Hill Cemetery alongside Donald, said the Green Hill Cemetery, established in 1854, houses over 12,000 headstones and deserved much more than the state it had been in over the course of the last 10 years.
“Donald and I have been coming to this cemetery since our early teens, and it has always had a special place in our hearts,” Gantt said. “So when we moved back from North Carolina, we saw how bad it had gotten, and we realized the people had stopped caring, which is so disheartening to see. For the community to just stop caring… so that’s why we felt it was important to bring it back and to honor those thousands of people buried here, because the more people that pay attention, the harder it is to forget our ancestors.”
In caring for and restoring the cemetery, Gantt said she had identified over 100 veteran graves, including 30 Unknown Soldier graves and one from a veteran of the Revolutionary war…
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