By Judi Curry
On November 10, 2010, I wrote my first article in the OBrag.org about the trees being cut down at Ft. Rosecrans. I asked who was cutting down the trees and why. The editor-dude also wrote an article about the tree cuttings. On August 12, 2012 I wrote another article about the deplorable conditions of the cemetery, replete with pictures of dead and dying grass; lack of trees, etc. In the months that followed I wrote an additional seven stories about the cemetery, and until a new Director was appointed every story that I wrote was about the lack of progress of restoration to the cemetery.
I interviewed the new Director – Doug Ledbetter–with Michael Turko from KUSI, and the plight of the cemetery was not only aired on KUSI but also written about in both the OBRag and the SDFP. That was on August 30th, 2013, and Doug stated that things were going to improve – drastically and quickly.
I made another trip to the cemetery on October 24, and although there was some progress being made, it seemed like it was slow going on the Northeast side of cemetery.
(All of my articles can be accessed on the OBRag.org by putting in the “search” column Ft. Rosecrans.)
Yesterday I received a call from Mr. Ledbetter asking me if I had been to the cemetery recently to see the progress that had taken place. I told him I had not but since I had received calls from people asking me what the conditions would be like for visitations on Thanksgiving, I had planned to go up there today so I could report back to the loved ones that contacted me.
Here’s what I found: It is 95% better than what I saw the last time I visited my husband, who is interred there. I immediately called Doug to thank him for letting me know of the improvements and he asked what it would take to get a 100% ranking. I told him my evaluation might change when all of the sod was laid. And…as I watched the workers doing their job, I suspect that the section I was most concerned about – “M” – will be completed before the workers go home this evening.
They were working hard and fast; the only problem was that none of the workers spoke English and my Spanish was not enough to ask them if they would be finished by Thanksgiving. However, it is my guess – and Doug’s too – that it will be finished; green, and a very appropriate “thanks” for this special day.
Thanks, Doug, for calling me and alerting me to the progress; to the readers that called – a special thank you for letting me know you read my column; and I know that this Thanksgiving at the cemetery will not be the downer it was last year. May you all have a blessed day.
All photos by Judi Curry and Frank Gormlie, courtesy of the OB Rag.