APOLLO (KDKA) — Every time you gaze around the sloping hillside filled with graves at the Riverview Cemetery you notice another, and then another desecrated stone.
The eye seeing what the mind finds hard to comprehend.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Police Investigating Shooting In Homewood
Turns out, there’s a history of this kind of vandalism across the country.
Rome Monument’s John Dioguardi has a colleague in Kentucky who dealt with removing a similar spray paint attack on monuments in 2010.
Shumway: “Were they successful?”
Dioguardi: “Yes, it worked, so we are very optimistic.”
When Dioguardi was contacted by KDKA-TV’S Marty Griffin about the situation at the Riverview Cemetery, Dioguardi didn’t hesitate to step in to help clean up the mess at no charge.
James Kunkle with the Riverview Cemetery Association finds Dioguardi’s offer hard to believe.
“They’re not even from our Kiski Valley area; they’re from Monaca, and for them to be so gracious and forthcoming is quite amazing,” said Kunkle.READ MORE: 'Unity In The Community' Event Held In Greensburg
Dioguardi has two five-gallon buckets of a specialized graffiti remover called, (believe it or not) “Elephant Snot,” on the way from Minnesota.
“It’s going to attack the oil and the paint on the memorial and loosen it. Then we’ll use a power washer to complete the removal,” Dioguardi says.
But not all stones will respond the same. So, going in, Dioguardi is cautioning the cemetery that this will not be a quick process.
Kunkle says, “I believe it’s going to be a week or two.”
In the meantime, there are still no arrests in the case.
The cemetery association has decided to consider some security measures. But as for locking the gate at night, Kunkle says, “We’ve chosen not to allow somebody to scare us. So we’ve decided the gates are going to remain open here at Riverview Cemetery.
While the cemetery is talking about a cleaning process it has become clear over the last few days these are not just stones in an open field, they represent families and lives.
So the association says if there are families uncomfortable with the cleaning process, they should contact the cemetery before the cleaning starts on Thursday.MORE NEWS: Community Liver Alliance Hosts 'Walk The Talk For Liver Health' 5K At Kennywood Park