A 20-year mission was accomplished.
Members of the Whitehall and Granville American Legions made the relatively short hike from the side of North Street up to the grave site of Solomon Rodd on Thursday, Nov. 18, paying respects to a renewed resting place thanks to the efforts of his descendant, Gary Rodd.
“I had no idea it was going to turn out like this,” said Rodd, who has been working to restore the gravesite of the Civil War Navy veteran. “This was very touching. All I knew when I saw the site is that I had to bring his site back to some kind of dignity. Today surpassed my wildest expectations.”
Rodd recently spent many hours pulling a pushing equipment and supplies up and down the hill to the gravesite to fix the gravestone and area around Solomon’s resting place, which was located near the family gravesite and the Rodd family homestead that dated back to the 1870s.
During his work at the site, Rodd got in contact with the American Legion to see if it wanted to help complete the project as well as help to provide a re-dedication service for Solomon’s site.
Whitehall American Legion member Jim Lafayette said they jumped at the opportunity to do what they are called upon to do for all veterans.
“The American Legion, it’s our duty to honor veterans,” said Lafayette. “This is special because Civil War veterans are becoming forgotten because the families are gone. Nobody’s around to tend the graves. We have 169 of them listed in Whitehall, and I’m sure there’s more.”
Lafayette said the grave sites of Civil War veterans are also becoming harder to find.
“At Boardman Cemetery, we go up there in the spring to place flags on the sites of veterans, and we have a hard time finding them,” said Lafayette. “Somebody took the time to take care of Solomon Rodd and that is an impressive thing. I hope someday somebody takes the time to find and care for my grave.”
For Rodd and his family, he said he was overwhelmed with the support shown by the Legion.
“I wanted it, but I didn’t know that this was going to happen,” said Rodd. “I thought that there was going to be some interest, but not to the point that it has happened. But it really is just veterans honoring veterans.”
Once the ceremony was over, Rodd looked over the newly rededicated site and said his work was not yet finished.
“Look at the shape that the headstone is in for 110 years old,” said Rodd. “Now, I’m chasing after some more family veterans.”