The Good Cemeterian: Мan spends his Sundays cleaning forgotten veterans’ tombstones

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The American veterans who dedicated their lives to serve their nation deserve nothing short of thanks, gratitude, and support.

There is no doubt that what they did for their country is a debt that can never be repaid, but it is the duty of American citizens to honor their sacrifice and show them the respect they earned.

Speaking of respect, here is a story of a man named Andrew Lumish, who spends every Sunday cleaning the forgotten tombstones of military veterans in Florida.

In today’s hard-working world many of us would probably spend the weekend relaxing in front of the TV, or maybe in the countryside away from crowded cities. This is not the case with Lumish, who uses his one day off to honor the veterans by patiently cleaning their decaying tombstones.

The process seems to be quite complicated. Lumish sometimes spends up to four months cleaning some of these tombstones.

Aside from this unusual hobby, Lumish is a history buff and also enjoys photography. He told the Tampa Bay Times that it all started in Oaklawn Cemetery, where he went to take photos of historic graves. He found out that many of the tombstones for military veterans were practically destroyed.

Lumish works six days a week as a carpet and upholstery cleaner but still loves spending his day off scrubbing forgotten tombstones. He made this his life mission.

What started as his hobby eventually transformed into his passion. Uncovering the names on veterans’ tombstones became his life goal. It earned him the nickname “the Good Cemeterian.”

In 2016, he told CBS News that what disturbed him the most was that veterans resting beneath the tombstones were forgotten. He couldn’t properly thank them and understand who they were.

The Good Cemeterian started his mission back in 2013. He told the Tampa Bay Times that he had restored around 300 tombstones by November 2015. But Lumish is not just uncovering the names of the military veterans; he is also uncovering the history behind the names. His goal is to bring their memory and resting place back to life.

When Lumish finishes cleaning the grave markers he shares a before and after photo on his Facebook and Instagram page, adding important historical facts about the veterans.

The tombstone of a Civil War veteran named Henry J. Fletcher was the first Lumish restored. He also cleaned another one the same day.

Although he is a professional cleaner, Lumish had never cleaned tombstones before. He managed to develop his own unique method and from what we can see, it works pretty well. The results are stunning.

Many people were interested in learning how exactly Lumish restores tombstones so that they could also join his mission and follow his steps. On his Facebook page titled The Good Cemetarian, he shares some important instructions about the process of cleaning tombstones.

He notes that the product he uses is called D/2 Biological Solution and that it can be used for cleaning granite, marble, and sandstone monuments.

Many veterans and their families from all over the country thank him for what he does, but as Lumish told CBS News, he feels that he is unworthy of the same respect as the veterans who choose to serve the United States.

Keeping the memories of American veterans alive is what Lumish truly loves and what inspires him to continue his mission. He’s done a great job so far, and he has taught us how important it is never to forget the sacrifices of the veterans and to always show them the respect they deserved.

 Goran Blazeski

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7,000-year-old Native American burial site found off Florida

Divers search for more evidence underwater

Diver Nicole Grinnan measures the test unit’s depth using a laser level and folding ruler

Archaeologists have uncovered a Native American burial site dating back 7,000 years off the coast of Florida.

The site was found by an amateur diver in 2016 who was looking for shark teeth but stumbled on an ancient jawbone.

In a picture sent from the diver, archaeologist Ryan Duggins noticed a worn down molar tooth attached to the jawbone. This suggested it belonged to a prehistoric person.

Florida state officials called the find an “unprecedented discovery”.

Mr Duggins and his team began investigating the site from the “Archaic Period” located 900ft (275m) from shore.

The burial grounds are expected to cover about 32,000 sq feet (3,000 sq metres) off the coast of Manasota Key.

Underwater stake at burial siteImage copyrightFLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Image caption    One of the stakes excavated at Manasota Key Offshore revealed a notch in its length, it is not yet known what the notch was for

Underwater, the team found densely packed organic remains, human bones, and sharpened wooden stakes and textile fragments, according to National Geographic.

“Seeing a 7,000-year-old site that is so well preserved in the Gulf of Mexico is awe inspiring,” Mr Duggins said in a press release from the Florida Department of State.

“We are truly humbled by this experience.”

The site is believed to have been preserved in a freshwater pond thousands of years ago when water levels were 30ft (9m) lower, according the a press release..

The pond had a bottom covered in peat, which reportedly slowed the process of organic decay and allowed for the preservation of human remains.

“Our hope is that this discovery leads to more knowledge and a greater understanding of Florida’s early peoples,” said Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

The state said they are working closely with Native American tribes to ensure the proper treatment of the bones.

“We are happy to be working, shoulder to shoulder, with the Bureau of Archaeological Research and the residents of Manasota Key to identify a preservation plan that will allow the ancestors to continue to rest peacefully and without human disturbance for the next 7,000 years”, the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s historic preservation officer Paul Backhouse told the Bradenton Herald newspaper.

“The highest priority of all involved is to honour tribal beliefs and customs with respect to this ancestral resting place,” said the Florida Department of State.

Florida archaeologists have discovered other evidence of the Archaic period but say this discovery is remarkable because the site survived offshore through hurricanes and erosion.

“The vast majority of underwater archaeological projects have historically been focused on shipwrecks,” Mr Duggins told National Geographic.

From BBC News

Black Pirates and the Tale of Black Caesar

Model Pirate Ship with fog and water

During the ”golden age” of piracy in the late 1600s and early 1700s, a pirate ship was one of the few places a black man could attain power and money in the Western Hemisphere. Some of these black pirates were fugitive slaves in the Caribbean or other coastal areas of the Americas. Others joined pirate crews when their slave ships or plantations were raided; it was often an easy choice between perpetual slavery and freedom through lawlessness. It is estimated that up to one-third of the 10,000 pirates during the golden age of piracy were former slaves. While many were still mistreated and forced to do the lowest tasks aboard ship, some captains established revolutionary equality among their men, regardless of race. On these ships, black pirates could vote, bear arms, and receive an equal share of the booty. Back on the mainland, however, justice for black and white pirates was not equal. White pirates were usually hanged, but black pirates were often returned to their owners or otherwise resold into slavery—a fate worse than death for some.

One of the most famous black pirates was Black Caesar, who raided ships in the Florida Keys for almost a decade before joining Blackbeard aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Like many pirates, his life is shrouded in legend, but he was apparently a very large and very cunning man. Many accounts state that he was an African chieftain who had evaded capture by slavers several times before succumbing to a cruel deception. Aboard the slave ship, he was befriended by a sailor who gave him food and water. As they neared the Florida coast, a hurricane provided the confusion the two needed for an armed escape on a rowboat, and they were evidently the only survivors of the storm. For several years thereafter, the pair amassed a considerable fortune by posing as shipwrecked sailors and violently robbing vessels that offered them assistance. They allegedly buried their bounty on Elliott Key. Black Caesar was eventually able to hire on more crew and began attacking ships on the open sea. It is said that he kept a prison camp and possibly a harem of kidnapped women in the Keys but often failed to leave his captives with provisions during his voyages, and many starved to death. In the early 1700s he joined Blackbeard‘s crew as his lieutenant and was there for Blackbeard’s death at the hands of Lieutenant Robert Maynard. Following this defeat, Black Caesar was captured with the surviving crew by Virginia colonial authorities and was hanged in Williamsburg in 1718.

WRITTEN BY:  Melissa Petruzzello