His is a silent vow to never forget the sacrifice of America’s military veterans, and with each flag he posts at a veteran’s cemetery gravestone, his patriotic statement grows louder and louder.
“I came back. They didn’t,” said Navy veteran Tony Clark of Chester County’s Sadsbury Township in a Philadelphia Daily News column by Stu Bykofsky.
He first spent $20,000 personally to buy replacement flags wherever he found them needed, and now, Clark is honoring the memory of his wife, fellow Navy veteran Debora, by recognizing her and all veterans buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Aston.
“The vets were being disrespected,” Clark said of the condition of the cemetery when he found it.
With the help of Kimberly Flint and Harry Habbersett, Clark is undertaking a research-and-recognition task that is “pretty much impossible when you consider that the first two plots are older than the country. Many headstones are gone.”
And the effort only scratches the surface of what could be done nationwide.
“The U.S. has 100,000 private cemeteries, fewer than 1,000 of which properly identify veterans,” the article stated.
Read more of Clark’s cemetery work in the Philadelphia Daily News here.