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Posted By: on: 10/09/2000 11:09:54 EDT
Subject: RE: Last full measure..

Message Detail:
I took a walk through the cemetary this past Monday. I have often gone there, but this time was different. I was there to actually look up a few specific graves of Pennsylvania men. As I walked, one thing became perfectly clear.

I had always realized that there were hundreds of unknowns, but the true magnitude of the number now became apparent, and it is very sad. One wonders how many men and boys from both sides are lying underground somewhere unmarked and unknown.

Now, all the graves in the cemetary show just how sad and tragic the true story of the war was. So many dying for the cause they so strongly believed in, but too me, the unknowns are the ultimate case of sadness.

Think if you were a mother or father at home, knowing that your son(s) were off fighting the war, maybe having some contact with them by mail, and then all of a sudden, nothing. You do not have any idea what happened to them or where they ended up. Are they in a prison camp? A hospital somewhere?

Hearing the news in April of 1865 that the war ended and the boys were coming home would renew the hope, so you would wait, and wait. But, how long would you wait until you were sure your loved one(s) weren't coming home? When would the truth become apparent? Where did it happen, and how? And where are they now?

So many questions, and few, if any answers. So tragic. Losing any loved one in any war is so very tragic, but when you know the story of their deaths and where they have been laid to rest, this somewhat helps the healing process. In the case of the unknowns, the wound never even begins to heal.

Sorry for rambling, but this just hit me very hard for some reason on this particular visit, even though I've probably been there 20 or more times.


How instant does a casualty become unidentifiable? For sure at least 50% immediately. Now lay tis crumpld body in the Penn. July sun for 14 hours with heavy rain as well.Itis well we issued dog tags to the following troops , lest their loved ones never knew. War is helland there is no refining it W.T. Sherman...

You must feel all those things. Lets prat the body bage dont start coming in to Homestead AF base from Columbia soon!!

I was in Gettysburg the last weekend of September...I didn't have the opportunity to visit the cemetery, but I did walk the wooded areas, and what came to my mind I stepping on a grave that has been lost to time? I felt really sad, and said a silent 'thank you and I am sorry' for them. It did not matter to me if they were Condfederates or Yankees...they were men who fought and died for their beliefs and I respect them for that.
Sincerely, Barb


You are not, and I say again NOT ALONE in those feelings.. No you are not wrong for those feelings. I have felt the same way. I remember walking through the Rose Woods last spring and thinking much the same as Barb.. Was I stepping on some ones son, father, uncle, husbands unknown and unmarked grave, or a grave known only to God? I too remember saying, I am sorry if this is the case, but YES I do remember whoever you were, whether you are ANV or AOP... Blue or gray! I remeber your willing sacrifice, so that we could live in peace. I also remeber standing at the wall and thinking, Oh my, why did you do this? Can you answer me some how? I need to know!.. And the answer came back in the soft breeze that day, 'So you could walk in freedom, peace and to remind you that FREEDOM IS NEVER,NEVER, NEVER FREE!!"


The word "unknown" on a grave stone can evoke deep feelings. I feel that way every time I'm in the NC. Have you ever been to the old Almshouse graveyard in GB? There are unknowns there, too... babies, and old men. One stone just says "Unknown - Drowned." No name, nothing. This was someone's child. Who prays for, cries over these? We do - every time we visit. Every wet eye, every thought of them, maybe somehow intercesses for them to heaven.

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