More than 500 graves were tended to on Saturday as part of a service project organized by Matt Augustynek, 17, a student at Williamsville South High School.
Augustynek has a great-uncle buried among the veterans at the cemetery, which his family visits each spring.
“We noticed that when we went there a lot of things were overgrown and not looking in shape,” Augustynek said.
Augustynek, who has been in the Boy Scouts since he was 6, thought a cleanup around some of the veterans’ gravesites would be a good idea for the service project he needed to complete to become an Eagle Scout – the highest attainable rank in the Boy Scouts.
So Augustynek recruited help from more than two dozen people, including his parents, Tom and Lori, and other Boy Scouts.
The volunteers spent the morning and afternoon Saturday edging around the grave markers, cleaning the stones and leveling the flower urns in the veteran area of the cemetery along Harlem Road and the Kensington Expressway.
By the end of the day, they had cared for the gravesites of 534 veterans.
“It took us a good four hours,” said Augustynek, of Boy Scout Troop 262 in Amherst. “It went great.”
“I’m very proud of him,” said his father, Tom. “We had a pretty good pile of sod after we were done. We could have had a small football field with all the sod we had.”