Meet the TikToker Who Visits Cemeteries and Cleans Their Headstones
Tony Walker, who works in information technology and is an ordained minister, told Inside Edition Digital that he started to clean up cemeteries a few years after after he started to uncover his family tree.
A cemetery isn’t exactly the most popular place to film a TikTok, but for Tony Walker it is his “happy place.” A "peaceful place," he said, where he goes to restore and clean headstones and “to celebrate life.”
Walker, who works in information technology and is an ordained minister, told Inside Edition Digital that he started to clean up cemeteries a few years after after he started to uncover his family tree.
“I was doing genealogy and I went to a cemetery, probably about five years ago, and it’s classified as an abandoned cemetery,” Walker said. “And, I found several of my family members’ gravestones and they're in really poor condition. And I was like, "Well, somebody should do something about this." And I'm like, "Oh, well I am that person that should, this is my family, I should take care of this.”
Walker soon realized that there were other headstones at the cemetery that were also in need of some TLC and after doing a bit of research on the best care methods, he got to work.
Walker’s goodwill did not go unnoticed. Filming the restoration of headstones and the history of the people who are buried brought a community of people, who also dabble in genealogy, together that had never met before.
"I’m just posting videos of me cleaning headstones, but it's having this emotional effect to a lot of people, because it's helping them connect more with people that they've lost and it's reminding them of those memories," Walker said.
For instance, one headstone of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life sparked a conversation with his followers about suicide prevention and mental health, Walker told Inside Edition Digital.
“People look forward to coming on and interacting with everyone and interacting with me. And I get so many positive messages, it's overwhelming how many messages I get,” said Walker, who said for him it feels as if he is at a park. “When I’m going there, I’m not there to be sad, I’m there to celebrate a person’s story and their life.”
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