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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Love, honor, respect: a visit to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

Nov 06, 2018 04:20AM ● By Joyce Corley

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma. Photo courtesy Emily Stanchfield.

Since I was a child, I’ve had many opportunities to visit military cemeteries and to understand the valor and sacrifices represented there. The one I’m most familiar with is located in Los Angeles, California, now the West Los Angeles National Medical Center and Cemetery (formerly Sawtelle Veterans Hospital and Cemetery).

My uncle, Eddie De Quir, was a disabled veteran. Born in Louisiana, he spoke fluent French and served as a translator during World War I. As a consequence, he was gassed in the trenches and developed painful rheumatoid arthritis. He literally spent the rest of his life at the Sawtelle Hospital, except for weekend furloughs during the holidays. Every Sunday my family, along with my Aunt Pearl, visited Uncle Eddie at Sawtelle. They’re both buried there, so we still visit.

As an adult, I’ve visited the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, and Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania many times. There’s also a nice military cemetery in Grand Junction.

On a recent trip to California, I was able to spend a week in San Diego, where I had the opportunity to visit what to me is a special national cemetery.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at Point Loma is one of the most touching cemeteries I’ve visited. The setting, both poignant and breathtaking, certainly sets it apart. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and San Diego Bay on the other, it’s one of the most beautiful national memorials I’ve visited.

Fort Rosecrans became a national cemetery in 1934, but heroes from many battles have been buried there since the beginning of California’s history. As a history buff and educator, as well as the wife of a Korean War veteran, I find these memorials to be a great place for meditation and a wonderful opportunity to pay homage and respect.

Viewing the graves there once again drove home the multitude of sacrifices that men and women have made for our country. The numbers buried there are phenomenal.

All of these military cemeteries emphasize these truths—bullets and death do not respect ethnicity, gender or nationality. All the veterans buried there are people who loved this country and proudly served to protect it. That same love and respect should manifest itself in the many millions of citizens left here to enjoy the liberties and benefits of this great country.

The day of our visit, we stayed until dusk. It’s truly worth a visit to pay your respects, but also to contemplate our blessings as Americans.