The American Cemetery in Natchitoches was founded circa 1737 and is believed to be the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase. It is also thought that this was the site of the second Fort St Jean Baptiste and that all occupants were buried there. None of the monuments predate 1797. I love graveyards and the sense of stillness. This one seemed a little forlorn but reflected a long and interesting southern heritage.
This monument to Mollie Campbell Sullivan, a worthy matron, fascinated me. It was a beautiful tomb with the little bird perched on top. I hope that Teddy does not inscribe ‘worthy matron’ on my tombstone/crematorium jar but perhaps it meant something different back in the day. If you zoom in on the first image, you can see a little gravestone that just says “We love you”. Sometimes simplicity is best.
The only mausoleum in the cemetery is of a famous African American educator, John Gideon Lewis, Senior. I was somewhat surprised as Natchitoches was a Confederate town and cemeteries in the south were often segregated or separate. Even more unusually, he established the Prince Hall Masons in Louisiana and he was Worshipful Grand Master of Louisiana until his death in 1931 aged 81.
Most of the names seemed English or Scottish in origin and there were very few French names. They would have been buried at the Catholic Cemetery. Emmeline Lestace, wife of Walter Gongre, was an exception. I tried to investigate the origins of the name Gongre but I could find nothing. Perhaps it was one of those names that was forever changed at Ellis Island.
This final gravestone of a Confederate soldier symbolized, to me, the futility of war. My heart and thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.
My only memories of the Korean War are that it was immortalized in the series MASH. It seems ironic that we remember the series so well, especially the theme song, ‘Suicide is Painless’ much better than the actual war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M*A*S*H_(TV_series)
On our recent trip to Little Rock, Arkansas we stumbled on a beautifully serene memorial to the Korean War which lasted from 1950 to 1953. It was a complicated political situation after WWII and North Korea was annexed by the Soviet Union and South Korea was surrendered to the Americans from the Japanese who had invaded Korea in 1910. We know, all too well, today that this has not been a perfect solution and North Korea remains an unstable and worrying nation. I don’t think democracy is right for every nation but totalitarian dictatorship is the opposite of what most people desire.
This memorial really opened my eyes to the reality of the Korean War – how unfair it is that we have forgotten both the military and the civilians who were killed. Our hearts break when we see two very old relatives who occasionally get the opportunity to see each other after more than 60 years of separation. I was astonished by how many disparate nations worked together under the UN banner to achieve peace in Korea and dearly wish that we could come to some consensus on what to do about Syria. The global lack of decisive action has led to President Putin assisting the reigning, if despised, Syrian government and indiscriminately bombing Syria (and also Iran, accidentally).
We worry relentlessly that we will be infiltrated by ISIS terrorists if we accept more desperate refugees when we have much more to fear from domestic terrorism. There are many sensible ways for us to determine if refugees are legitimate but we react so quickly to media panic. Are we really still asking if President Obama is Muslim – AND WHAT IF HE WAS? There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Jewish or Atheist President. All they need to do is understand our constitution and abide by it.
I would never have visited this memorial if it were not for my friend GP Cox, fellow blogger ‘Pacific Paratrooper’ and I hope he enjoys it.
Click on this link to see the rest of the post. THE FORGOTTEN WAR