Volunteers take action to clean up abandoned Hampton cemetery

Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 10:10:08-04

Hampton, Va. - Dozens of volunteers from all over Tidewater were ready to lend a helping hand on a day meant to take a break from work.

“Labor Day is labor. It was just good to get out and help someone else," said a volunteer.

They were taking action to repair a historic cemetery that many of them knew nothing about until recently

“Your story is what brought it to us.”

Last week we told you about Oakland Cemetery, which sits along east Pembroke Avenue in Hampton. It's abandoned. The owners skipped town and refused to pay to maintain it. More than 4,000 people are buried there, many of them veterans -- their graves were dishonored.

“It just irks me,” says Brian Meyer, a member of the Tidewater Dirt Riders, an organization that brought about 25 people out to Oakland. “I`m a veteran myself and so are most of the people you see out here. It really upset me.”

“When you look around here, you see these people going at it hard, heartfelt.” Says Marquita Latta, who calls herself the guardian of Oakland Cemetery.
Latta has been heartfelt about saving Oakland for more than a decade.

“I don`t want it to be a one time, once a month venture,” she says. “I want them to continue to care like it is in their hearts today.

Meyers says he expects their service will continue, getting results one mow at a time.

“It feels good,” Meyer says. “You know that people are willing to come out and do something like this. I really like it. It needs to be done more often.”