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Man Finds Military Tombstones in Backyard
All Proud Americans ^

Posted on 05/24/2012 8:41:05 AM PDT by Sopater

A Tennessee man, Jason Blackburn, digging in his backyard garden over the weekend found 13 tombstones that have been traced to a historic military cemetery. “My first reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, I hope there’s not dead bodies in my backyard,” Blackburn said. “I mean that’s the first reaction when you’re digging in your backyard and you find tombstones.”

Blackburn searched a name on one of the gravestones -- Pvt. Arthur Woodson -- on the Internet and determined it was linked to Memphis National Cemetery, a historic memorial park that goes back to the Civil War and is now run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Raymond Miller, director for Memphis National Cemetery and the national cemeteries in Little Rock and Corinth, Miss., said that VA workers were heading over to Blackburn’s home on Tuesday to inspect the tombstones. He said the time the markers went missing has been narrowed down to a four-month period in 1970. It is believed the markers are from the 1960s.

It is believed they are old headstones that were replaced with newer ones. Still, it’s unclear how they ended up in someone’s backyard. Old headstones are typically destroyed after they are replaced, Miller said.

“This is government property,” Miller said. “We’re going to retrieve them and look to see what information they have.”



TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: military; veterans
Is this for real?

“This is government property,”

Government property = public property
1 posted on 05/24/2012 8:41:13 AM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

The man ought to be careful....they may claim eminent domain......


2 posted on 05/24/2012 8:44:26 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Sopater

Holy cow. Just when you think life has gotten about as interesting as it’s gonna get...


3 posted on 05/24/2012 8:46:16 AM PDT by moovova (OBAMA: The first US President to come out of the closet.)
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To: Sopater

Those appear to be markers from a US Veteran’s cemetery. They are, indeed, US Gov’t Property.

http://www.cem.va.gov/hm_hm.asp


4 posted on 05/24/2012 8:48:55 AM PDT by wrench
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Sopater.


5 posted on 05/24/2012 8:48:54 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Sopater

“Fannie Marie” in a military cemetery? I wonder if Fannie used to be a man’s name or if this could be a nurse or, well, what? Be interesting to find out.


6 posted on 05/24/2012 8:49:40 AM PDT by JoeDetweiler
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To: Sopater

As an Army veteran, I will state that in this case, government property = public property, does not permit the tombstones to be removed, by the public, from the cemetery(ies) where they marked graves of deceased soldiers.

I consider the removal to be theft and desecration of the soldier’s graves. If the tombstones were replace by the cemetery, then they should have been properly destroyed rather than randomly dumped.


7 posted on 05/24/2012 8:50:23 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: moovova

The back steps at my grandmother’s house are old tombstones. Her house is right next to the cemetery and used to be a funeral parlor.


8 posted on 05/24/2012 8:52:33 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: Sopater

The article says ‘13 tombstones’.

Is it just me, or does it look like 14 and possibly 15 are on that truck?


9 posted on 05/24/2012 8:53:55 AM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: GreyFriar

I wonder though, whether at the time the people responsible felt the stones had been respectfully buried?


10 posted on 05/24/2012 8:55:53 AM PDT by JoeDetweiler
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To: Nifster
they may claim eminent domain

Yup, that was my first thought as well. Just because you find something neat, doesn't mean that you need to stand up and loudly announce it.

11 posted on 05/24/2012 8:59:37 AM PDT by wbill
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To: cripplecreek

Well, I guess your grandmother’s neighbors are pretty quiet, except on election day.


12 posted on 05/24/2012 9:00:09 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: wrench

It appears from the story that the original tombstones were replaced with new ones, and the original ones were disposed of, apparently by dumping them on this property decades ago.

I’m not sure if the property back then was a legal dump or if they were dumped illegally on private property. But, as I understand it, once you throw something away you give up and property rights to the item. If the government threw the old headstones away (as seems to be the case here), then the current property owner may be able to claim ownership.

These things are probably pretty valuable as a collector’s item. I doubt military tombstones come on the market often (at least not legally).


13 posted on 05/24/2012 9:00:09 AM PDT by Brookhaven (Don't mistake my vote for Romney as a vote FOR Romney, it's a vote against Obama.)
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To: Fresh Wind
Well, I guess your grandmother’s neighbors are pretty quiet, except on election day.

That's pretty #@$@ funny, right there.

I used to work in a cemetary and thought that I'd heard all of the jokes. It was a Dead-End job, but the customers didn't complain. And I had a lot of people underneath me.

14 posted on 05/24/2012 9:05:03 AM PDT by wbill
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To: GreyFriar
I consider the removal to be theft and desecration of the soldier’s graves. If the tombstones were replace by the cemetery, then they should have been properly destroyed rather than randomly dumped.

I agree 100%. When I say "gov't property = public property", I mean to say that we all have a stake in finding out what happened here. If someone has desecrated the graves our our American soldiers, we've all been victimized by this crime.
15 posted on 05/24/2012 9:05:38 AM PDT by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: Fresh Wind
"Well, I guess your grandmother’s neighbors are pretty quiet, except on election day.

Now thats funny as heck............LOL

16 posted on 05/24/2012 9:07:42 AM PDT by Johnny_cash
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To: Sopater
"He said the time the markers went missing has been narrowed down to a four-month period in 1970. It is believed the markers are from the 1960s. It is believed they are old headstones that were replaced with newer ones."

They need to track down the previous property owner(s) if they're still alive. I'm guessing either a former VA/Cemetery employee who was supposed to dispose of the old gravestones when replaced, but thought he'd sell the marble, then had second thoughts.

Given the timeframe (late 60's - early 70's) I would have guessed hippie-based desecration, except it sounds as though the stones were replaced, and if there had been an incident of desecration or theft, there's apparently no record of it.

17 posted on 05/24/2012 9:12:59 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Fresh Wind
Well, I guess your grandmother’s neighbors are pretty quiet, except on election day.

Now that there's funny.



Wait... no it's not.
18 posted on 05/24/2012 9:13:48 AM PDT by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
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To: cripplecreek

I remember as a kid visiting family friends in Bay St. Louis, going out to play in their backyard, and finding a huge patio made of tombstones.

Quite the conversation piece.


19 posted on 05/24/2012 9:18:06 AM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: JoeDetweiler

““Fannie Marie” in a military cemetery?”

I enlarged the image a bit and farther down it says “wife of” so that makes sense, and also maybe resolves the 13 soldiers vice 15 tombstones mismatch.


20 posted on 05/24/2012 9:25:00 AM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: Sopater

While researching my family’s history a few years ago, I found mention in an old book of a very small(maybe 12 or 14 people) cemetary in Dallas that had the graves of my gg-grandparents and others who were some of the areas very first settlers in it. I found that the cemetary was in a neighborhood that was developed some years ago and the good-ole-boy system allowed them to encroach too closely into the cemetary. State law says the cemetery belongs to those buried there, not a neighborhood organization that came along later, but over the years the neighbors grew their yards into the area until it was almost obliterated. When I got someone with the Dallas Historical Society onboard, they were confronted by neighbors who demanded they stop the cleanup! They wanted it left ‘to nature’ What was left of it was overgrown with poison ivy and dead trees.
Eventually, they did get it cleaned up and a plaque put on the cemetary, along with a marker that had the names of the known burials there.


21 posted on 05/24/2012 9:28:20 AM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: GreyFriar

If they were “excessed” because they were being replaced with new markers, then I don’t see the harm. If they’re single-sided (one side blank) then they’re the perfect size for a walkway or steps. Outside of their original purpose they’re just slabs of stone.


22 posted on 05/24/2012 9:28:39 AM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: Sopater

In the 1950s we used to go from Oregon down to Alamogordo, NM to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Often we’d go to a ghost town called White Oak. Leaning against the back outer wall of a long abandoned saloon was a military tombstone. We created many stories about that stone…guy died that loved the bar, guy was killed in a fight and they buried him at the back door, etc. After a few trips an old timer came by to explain what happened. The saloon owner was a woman who had a loved one lost in WWI. The government delivered the stone to her and she just leaned it against the back rather than put it where it belonged. Rainwater from the roof did the rest, embedding it into the earth like it was a grave. I went back about 15 years ago and the tombstone is gone.


23 posted on 05/24/2012 9:36:54 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: Bigh4u2

“The article says ‘13 tombstones’.

Is it just me, or does it look like 14 and possibly 15 are on that truck?”

Use the ‘new math’. You’ll get 13 that way.


24 posted on 05/24/2012 11:01:25 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: Bigh4u2

Good catch. I think you’re right.


25 posted on 05/24/2012 11:09:33 AM PDT by houeto (FReepathon 2Q! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Actually, they appear to be the original veteran only stones that were replaced when the veteran's wife was interred in the same grave.

They add the wife's name to the back of the stone.

In the 1970’s you had to send the stone out to get the new information added. Now the stone cutter shows up and does it on site.

26 posted on 05/24/2012 12:48:37 PM PDT by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: fireforeffect

We had a bronze plaque put on my father’s grave, but my mother remarried about 15 years after he died and had a different last name. We couldn’t figure out what to do. No one liked her second husband.


27 posted on 05/24/2012 12:55:45 PM PDT by Eva
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To: cripplecreek

You use what you have!

We have an uncarved granite one in our back flower bed. It’s a little rough, with a rounded top. You can tell it was meant to be a tombstone. Wife will not let me place it “upright”...so it lays flat on its back with a big flower pot on it.


28 posted on 05/24/2012 1:05:38 PM PDT by moovova (OBAMA: The first US President to come out of the closet.)
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To: fireforeffect
In the 1970’s you had to send the stone out to get the new information added. Now the stone cutter shows up and does it on site.

These days, I'd expect it to be a PC-driven laser stone cutter, on a little cart.

≤}B^) -- I think.

29 posted on 05/24/2012 2:13:33 PM PDT by Erasmus (BHO: New supreme leader of the homey rollin' empire.)
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To: Sopater
It could have been several things happen none which disturbed the Vets actual grave. One is V.A. does replace markers when they become worn and hard to read or become cracked etc. However V.A. does not make the markers. I seriously doubt they were robbed from the graves. Likely either a worker didn't bust them up at replacement and someone went dumpster diving or a worker had use for them at home and figured who would ever know.

Another possibility is the company that made the original markers saw flaws {cracks etc} in the markers during manufacturing process and made replacements and those were not sent. The rejected markers would company property. A worker may have taken them for private use.

30 posted on 05/25/2012 3:42:23 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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