Western New York Red Cross honors fallen World War I veterans

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — Among the thousands of headstones nestled in Riverdale Cemetery, there’s a plot of land specifically dedicated to unclaimed World War I veterans.

Members of the Service to Armed Forces division of the Western New York Red Cross gathered on Saturday to plant flowers, weed, and clean up the headstones of those who served.

It’s a time of year when many visit the graves of fallen service members, often leaving behind flowers or flags. There are 39 unclaimed veterans at the Riverdale cemetery. Members of the Red Cross say they wanted to make sure they were respected, even though there may be no family to do so.

During a weekend of reflection and gratitude, decorated Air Force Colonel Bob Pecoraro says each and every fallen veteran deserves the utmost respect.

“We need to make sure we have a full accounting. That no one is left behind. It’s important for everybody to be identified and to understand where their final resting place is.”

Abby Fridmann is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of her work here.

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