This article has several messages I would like to discuss. Last year I wrote about the deplorable condition of Ft. Rosecrans. Just a few weeks ago I was quoted by the “editordude” in an article regarding the condition of Ft. Rosecrans during the Memorial Day holiday.
To briefly recap that quote, several of the women from my widow support group went up to Ft. Rosecrans to visit our husbands. Even though we know they are not “there” – talking to them is no different than when they were with us – they don’t listen and they didn’t respond. However, whereas we used to be able to sit under a tree on the green grass and have a picnic, the green grass and the trees are gone.
“My son and I went 2 Rosecrans. What a mess. Rebar sticking up; Blue chalk on headstones; brown grass. Only dirt at end where blocked off. Sad. Hope fixed soon.”
I answered her that I would go up to the cemetery later in the day to check it out.
She followed with: “ . . . Let me know what u think of Rosecrans. Shocking.”
She continued on with another message:–
“ . . They removed the flags that u, Irene and I put by Jeff, bob and john’s niches. I got 3 new ones for July 4th.”
After I told her I had been there she sent the following message:
“ thanks for doing this. I’m so glad. I hope its fixed. Its very shocking, sad and disrespectful.”
It must be pointed out that she was one of the widows that went with us on June 1st.
I took a series of pictures when we were there originally; today, 8 days later, I took additional pictures. Do you see any improvement? Neither do I.
The other aspect I want to point out in this article I never expected to happen.
I happened to have a student from Korea visiting me with her boyfriend – also a Korean but living and working in Irvine. As we walked down the sidewalk looking at the names on the stones, it suddenly became very quiet. When I looked at her I noticed she had tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong and she answered,
“ . . . I never realized how many American’s gave their lives so that we in South Korea could be free.”
It was a very poignant time. Her friend was also surprised – and said that much more is owed to the American people than he ever knew about.
I want to point out that she had been with me to Ft. Rosecrans several years ago when she was a student of mine. Bob had just recently passed away and since I took her to Cabrillo National Monument I asked her if she minded stopping by the cemetery on the way home. She agreed and was horrified when she saw the condition it is in now.
I just can’t help but wonder how long it is going to take before the cemetery is something to be proud of again. After all, that will be my “home” someday also and right now I am ashamed of it.
Maybe we need to have a congressional visitor or two come pay homage to the San Diegans that now reside there. And by the way – you won’t find the birds that used to nest in the trees – remember – no trees – but you can see the bird poop resting on the top of the iron markers that dot the cemetery. Shameful.