Pekin woman bypasses city, cuts high grass at veterans cemetery herself

By Marshanna Hester

May 6, 2013 Updated May 6, 2013 at 10:30 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- Jeanie Novackrieg isn't one to wait when she knows something needs to be fixed.

"It's a crime, to me this is a crime," she said.

So she's taking matters into her own hands, using a small push mower to barrel down tall grass hiding headstones at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Pekin.

One of them is her father's. Jeanie came to visit on the anniversary of his death Saturday and was disgusted by the lack of upkeep.

"This is my place that I can sit down and say whatever I want to say, but you can't do it with this," she said.

Assistant City manager Darin Girdler couldn't meet for an on-camera interview, but told us over the phone the city is considering outsourcing its mowing department.

He says the city doesn't have the proper equipment to handle some of its properties.

But if the two bids received only save the city a small amount of money, Girdler says outsourcing may not be worth it.

Until the city does make a decision, Jeanie's efforts to preserve the dignity of veterans here will continue.

Others even stopped by to help and the difference is evident.

"Just because they're gone doesn't mean we can't keep honoring them," she continued.

A clear view of respect Jeanie says will not be overshadowed again.

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