In an effort to highlight the beauty of the town’s war memorials before Veterans Day, Rod Riedel takes a grout knife between the cobblestones that surround the great stone obelisks and gets the weeds out.
But it’s not so much the weeding that brings him back year after year. It’s the people, visitors from different places who stop to tell them about their loved ones.
“Occasionally, people who are visiting town talk to me about family members who lost their lives elsewhere,” Riedel said.
On one occasion, a visitor pulled out his wallet showing Riedel a picture of his son who had perished in war. Another time, a person said he’d lost his brother.
“Weeding is the icing on the cake,” he said, crediting public works crews with mowing and raking around the three monuments in the square.
For the towering Civil War monument, Riedel got stone dust from Keyes Road to fill in after pulling out the weeds between the cobblestones.
He looks forward to the “incredibly moving” ceremony at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery on Veterans Day, with cannons firing and stirring speeches.