"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, September 5, 2016

America IS great--holiday flags tell the story, Day 8

A Civil War veteran's decorated grave
If you don't think America IS great as is implied by a stupid campaign slogan, you need to go visit a local cemetery.
The flags tell the story otherwise.
One of my favorite places is the little two-acre Oakwood Cemetery, only four miles east of our house, founded in 1892.
Two WWII veterans graves
I've written about it before, and there are lots of photos on those posts, with links at the end of this one.
I went there again today and took a few photos, impressed at all the American flags volunteers have put up on the graves of veterans and others. 
At top is the grave of P.G. Bear , a Union Civil War vet, of Company I, 48th Missouri Infantry, organized in 1864 and involved in many battles. There are other graves with flags in the shade of that tree, reminding me of Generals Robert E. Lee and AP Hill's dying words, "Let us cross the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
Other  Civil War vets are here, from Missouri and Illinois. In fact, an Illinois vet donated the land for the cemetery in 1892. You can find information on them searching the Internet and records. I could find nothing on Pvt. Bear.
There are veterans here from WWI, WWII  and Korea and more recent, as people are still buried here.
It was a hard life in Oklahoma Territory.
The cemetery had an area for black citizens and then far ahead of its time, integrated in 1951.
 There are also lots of infant graves, attesting to the hard life in Oklahoma Territory. Oldest grave I found was of a three- year-old, in 1893.
There are lots of graves here, and lots of flags, and it's a peaceful tribute to the greatness of America, even with traffic heading past to Arcadia Lake on Labor Day, with the flags fluttering in the breeze.
Other stories:
The cemetery site lists all the people  buried here: Oakwood.

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