Sunday, November 10, 2013

VA Marks Veterans' Graves "UNKNOWN" Rather Than Identify Heroes

Mount Moriah Cemetery, located in Southwest Philadelphia and Yeadon, Pennsylvania was the largest private cemetery in Pennsylvania. The cemetery has been largely abandoned since the owner died and his wife disavowed ownership in 2011. 

The cemetery has two National Cemetery plots, which Congress mandated to be maintained by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The plots contain 2300 veteran’s graves, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients. One of these plots, called the Naval Asylum Plot, is in dire need of help.

Sam Ricks, who is on the board of Friends of Mount Moriah Cemetery, said, "Both plots lacks something basic found in all other National Cemeteries: a flagpole with a US Flag flying over veterans' graves.The Naval Plot contains numerous grave markers that are now illegible after years of inattention and lack of maintenance. The VA replaces them with their ubiquitous white marble "UNKNOWN" marker despite the availability of a volunteer conducted transcription survey identifying many of the now blank Navy and Marine markers."

Ricks is worried the grave markers that will ultimately be "Lost to History" if the VA continues to replace them with their ubiquitous white marble "UNKNOWN" markers." 

Ricks added.  These are the graves of our Nation's earliest heroes, who actually fought "from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli." 

The VA has also been to slow to place special gold leaf Medal of Honor designation on the stones. 

Paulette Rhone, chairman of the board of the friends, had a chance encounter with the VA grounds supervisor of Washington Crossing Cemetery, who is responsible for the military cemeteries in the area, the day before the government shutdown, September 30, to discuss the issue. The staff promised to start taking care of the grounds, but have yet to do anything. 

No comments:

Post a Comment