I was recently driving to a business appointment and was slightly, briefly lost (mostly because rural roads are notoriously not consistently marked) and saw a sign for the National Cemetery of The Alleghenies. Having been to Arlington and Gettysburg I was intrigued at the thought of a National Cemetery in what is essentially my backyard. I was early for my meeting so I took the ¾ mile detour to the cemetery.
As I came up a hill and rounded a curve I came upon a view of the burial site with its neat rows of headstones there in the sunlight. “Wow” is what came out of my mouth. As I was drawn in I began to notice more and more sections of buried veterans. The setting, a former farm, is a beautiful resting place for those who served their country…our country.
The cemetery was dedicated in 2005 and aptly has a monument with Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on site. As I walked around I met a caretaker and we struck up a conversation. He said that they have up to 40 burials each week and had five that day. The headstones seemed to have a great many WWII veterans, but I also saw Korean War, Vietnam War, and even an Iraqi Freedom soldier. The cemetery is a somber place, but a picturesque place befitting these soldiers and their spouses. Fortunately there is room for many more graves and as the “Greatest Generation” ages the space will be needed.