I went out with my friend Kate yesterday. She is a cemetary hunter, by the name of StoneHunterBabe. If you need a grave of a relative found; there is a website, Find A Grave.com, where you can leave a request for help. People all over the world look for those requests in local cemetaries and post answers on the site. Kate searches cemetaries in our mid-Maine area, and yesterday I got to help her. We went to a national soldiers’ cemetary, Togus. Until yesterday, I had never given much thought to the cemetaries our fallen soldiers lie in, besides that fact that we all know about Arlington. The system was started in Sept 1861, overloaded with Civil War casualties, the government ordered a national cemetary system to be enacted.
Togus is quite a nice cemetary, it backs up onto a VA building and there are paths all through the woods for the employees and visitors. Kate and I went for a walk on one of the paths before getting down to business.
Kate had a list of gravesites to find, so the first thing we (she!) did was look them up at the site locator. Each grave stone had a letter and a four digit number to indicate location.
After finding the sections of the cemetery our soldiers should lay in, we were on the hunt. First we went off to section E, which was easy enough to find. It was a bit more difficult from there. Many of the stones no longer have the numbers on them to help us easily locate the stones. It came down to finding a stone with a number and trying to figure out what direction the numbers would go and see if the gravestone we were looking for was in the direction. We got an excellent walk in, hitting sections E,F,K,L,H and I!
It was a marvelous day for the walk, and the search. We found 12 out 14, which was a good percentage I think. After finding a site, Kate made notes and took pictures. While she did the technical stuff, I wandered around and took pictures. The cemetary is very well taken care of, and has some pretty memorials scattered about.
I have always had the greatest respect for all of our veterans, and it was nice of Kate to let me tag along and learn more about how we treat our fallen heroes. Plus, learned some really interesting names 😉 Including one gentleman named Napoleon Bona…go ahead, finish that name, I know you want to!