Post 500 members taking time to clean headstones in Laurel Grove Cemetery.


American Legion Post 500 (GA) welcomes Trae Zipperer

Savannah, GA

SAVANNAH, Ga. (October 11, 2021) – American Legion Post 500 welcomes Trae Zipperer, the founder of the By Memorial Day nonprofit organization to clean veteran headstones on Friday, Oct, 15, beginning at 9 am at Laurel Grove South Cemetery at 2101 Kollock St. in Savannah.

“After having some headstones straightened up at Laurel Grove South Cemetery, I was contacted by Mr. James V. Flowers, who is in charge of cemeteries. They informed me that they had a gentleman who has dedicated his life going around cleaning headstones of veterans,” says Post 500 Commander James Putney. “The maintaining and cleaning of our headstones is another way of giving back to our veterans and their families and remembering the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Also with Veterans Day upon us, I felt this was a good time for Trae to come to Savannah.”

“Two years ago, I was denied permission to clean headstones in the city public cemetery. Realizing that there were so many neglected headstones covered in filth spurned me into forming the By Memorial Day nonprofit organization.” states Zipperer. “Sometimes maintaining a headstone is too much for widowers and widows; my movement is to honor every veteran with a clean headstone. It’s just the right thing to do,” shares the Navy veteran.

BY MEMORIAL DAY is a nonprofit organization formed to promote the annual maintenance of veteran headstones located outside national cemeteries. They serve to inspire patriotic Americans to organize a group of local volunteers to visit each cemetery in their city for the purpose of identifying veteran headstones in need of care. Zipperer can be contacted at

One headstone was cleaned from all the grime, and it is the last WWI African-American to pass away in Chatham County.
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