A man named Gene Platt, acting on his own,
spent 3 1/2 years crawling around the tree-lined [Santa Ana, CA] graveyard, refurbishing about 180 Civil War veterans' headstones. Leaning on a sheepskin-covered footstool, he scraped off fungus and lichen, then brushed several layers of white-pigmented sealer onto the Georgia marble. With drills and grinding tools, he enhanced worn lettering, which he then painted gold.
After finishing, he said a prayer over each grave. Operating with permission from cemetery officials, he invested thousands of hours and dollars in the project, hoping his example would be copied nationwide.
The federal government disapproves and is sending in troops of boyscouts to undo his work, to strip markers "back to their earlier state," this story reports.