Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Grand Rapids Veterans Cemetery - 7/21/13


Established in 1886, the cemetery currently holds more than 5,000 graves of veterans, along with some of their families. Mary Alice and I didn’t understand this at first and wondered at what seemed like family groupings. Maybe they are veterans, maybe not.
The initial view of the cemetery is somewhat overwhelming, as the similar gravestones stretch out over several acres.
The statue, which used to be at the crux of the Maltese Cross design, is very interesting as it refers to the Civil War as the "rebellion." It's rare to see this anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Major wars are represented but the Spanish-American War was unexpected, but shouldn't have been considering the cemetery founding date.
Many tombstones are without dates, many with out of state origins, and others with just a name, which begs questions about their life stories.
World War I, II, Korea, and Vietnam followed the Spanish American War...
More surprising were tombstones representing the Dragoons and the Cold War. 
And yes, the born again...
Women are sometimes grouped together and other times scattered throughout, but many appear without any information.
There's a Medal of Honor winner buried here, Franklin Wilcox, honored for his part in the 1865 assault on Fort Fisher, North Carolina during the Civil War.
 We found a Purple Heart - 
  and then goofily found our own first names.
Only relevant for "It's a Wonderful Life" fans, we found Harry Bailey's grave -
 and also Bertha Bailey who died in 1944.
 And apparently reservations can be made :-)

 We dug deep and from afar for perspective.
but were left with questions about those interred here without their stories being known. Hopefully someone, somewhere knows who these people were, how they lived, how they died, what the tombstones mean, and what their lives meant.

No comments:

Post a Comment