As a self-employed carpet cleaner in Land 'O Lakes, Florida, Andrew Lumish doesn’t have much spare time. He only gets one day off each week, and he spends part of that day giving back to others who aren’t asking for it.
A self-described “history buff,” Lumish told WFTV News that he spends part of each Sunday cleaning veterans’ headstones in local cemeteries.
“These aren't just stones sitting in a cemetery in Florida,” he said in a recent interview. “These are real people I think about their lives.”
Lumish has been cleaning the stones for about two years. He told WFTV he has researched what brushes and chemicals to use so he doesn’t damage the grave markers. He estimates he has cleaned about 250 stones since he started.
And he has done it in silence, not asking for recognition or help. It was a secret until WFTV found out about him.
Since the news outlet ran his story and posted it to their Facebook page, it has been “liked” by more than 1,300 people and shared over 160 times.
The story has also generated over 40 comments, almost all of them positive.
“What a wonderful gesture,” wrote user Beverly Seever. “Thank you sir.!!!”
“Thank you for showing these heroes respect and gratitude,” said Rachel Wayt. “God Bless!!!”
Others acknowledged that Lumish hadn’t told anyone about his secret hobby.
“He's a good neighbor too,” wrote Doug Freeman. “Great story - didn't know you did this. Additional props to one who isn't seeking any.”
Lumish told WFTV that cleaning the headstones of those who have fallen is a gesture he is happy to make.
“You know lots of people like to go to the beach and do different things,” he said. “And quite honestly, I like to do this. I think about their families and what they might have talked about at the time.
“ ... If they can put their lives on the line to fight for their country, this is the least I can do."
Photo credit: WFTV News