Inside the Gates: A job full of honor

By Emily Scarlett | escarlett@whbf.com

Published 08/26 2016 08:07AM

Updated 08/26 2016 08:07AM

This is a historic week on the Rock Island Arsenal. It was nearly 150 years ago when an inspector of national cemeteries recommended moving the existing cemetery to higher ground.It relocated to the east end of the island where it still exists today. You will find that there is a lot of honor surrounding the National Cemetery as we take you Inside the Gates. 
 
More than 20,000 vets and their loved ones are laid to rest on the Rock Island Arsenal's National Cemetery.
 
Lolly Weihler says, "It's an honor to be buried here. Not just any Joe off the street can be buried here."
 
From the Civil War to present day, veterans and their families fill the 67 acres. The cemetery is expected to be full in the next 20 years.
 
"These will maintained forever. There will still be someone here working that will be mowing and trimming and replacing headstones as needed," says Weihler.
 
For those who work at the cemetery, the honor means just as much 
Gerard Lyons is a caretaker for the cemetery. He says, "Just to look at the stones and look how young a lot of those guys were when they made that sacrifice. It's just incredible."
 
Like all the others that work on caring for the cemetery, Gerard is a veteran.
 
"It means a lot more to me. It makes me feel good to know that our legacy will be carried on," he says.
 
It is just one example of veterans helping veterans.
 
Weihler tells Local 4 News, "They've earned this right to be here."
 

 

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