Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hilo Post 3875 took Thursday morning to begin cleaning thousands of headstones inside the two veterans cemeteries in Hilo as a way to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.
The annual tradition of taking care of the graves began about 15 years ago with veterans from the Korean War. The VFW took over as the Korean War veterans got older.
“We like to say that the veterans walking around are not the heroes, we’re the survivors,” said Emile Wery. “The heroes are here and this is our way of giving back to them. It comes from the love, respect and pride we hold for one another.”