Government Neighbors

Veteran Headstones Cleaned In Lambertville

There was an event recently to maintain the gravesites of those who served.

Credit: Hunterdon County government

With help from Hunterdon County employees, commissioners, and volunteers, the gravestones of veterans were cleaned in time for Memorial Day.

On Saturday, May 4, Hunterdon County Commissioners Susan Soloway and John Lanza, both co-liaisons for veterans affairs, led the first veteran headstone cleaning of the year at St. John Cemetery in Lambertville.

The county initiative, which has been ongoing since 2021, honors the memory of veterans by ensuring their gravesites are well-maintained.

The project began after a visit from Trae Zipper, a Navy Veteran and founder of the non-profit organization “By Memorial Day.”

The nonprofit’s mission is to clean and care for every veteran headstone across the country.

Inspired by Zipper’s dedication, Hunterdon County adopted the practice and has since held numerous cleaning events, officials said.

Soloway expressed her gratitude for the community’s involvement.

“With help from Commissioner John Lanza, various volunteers, and building and maintenance employees, we were able to clean over one hundred headstones, and replace numerous American flags and veteran grave markers. It is truly uplifting to be here today ensuring that our veterans are not forgotten,” she said.

The event not only involved cleaning headstones but also served as a reminder of the sacrifices made by veterans.

Lanza pointed to the importance of these efforts.

“We are proud to still be the first county in New Jersey to date to organize community headstone cleaning events for veterans,” he said. “We hope to serve as a catalyst for other counties to participate in these kinds of events, as a way to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans. Remember, every small act of remembrance contributes to preserving the memory of those who served our country.”

Future headstone cleaning events in Hunterdon County are in the planning stages.

Residents are encouraged to watch for announcements from the Veteran Headstone Cleaning Program to stay informed about upcoming opportunities to volunteer.

Officials said no prior experience is needed, as all volunteers receive instructions on the proper protocol for headstone cleaning and are guided to gravesites marked with an American flag, which mark a deceased veteran.

Those interested in participating or learning more can contact the Hunterdon County Veterans Services Officer Richard Booth at or call 908-788-1253.

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