Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 05/22/2008 - 21:45.

Charles Stevens was a member of the United States Armed forces.   So he was eligible for a veteran’s burial in the cemetery along Chagrin Boulevard out near 271.  


Thousands of flags represent thousands of dead armed services members.  Their headstones are flat with the grass, and the grass grows over the stone so it is hard to read their names.


I asked the lady who it was that she was visiting…


She said she was visiting her husband, Charles Stevens, but her son was buried here too. 


I had a hard time keeping my composure. 


 The wind was blowing all the flags out straight.


 She knew her husband’s stone was the 13th from the adjacent roadway, but she couldn’t find the right row.  I offered to help and used my shoe to brush the grass off the stones so the names could be read. 


I thanked her for her husband’s service. 


This cemetery is occupied by many veterans who did not perish in battle…they passed naturally in 1980, or 1981 (and other non-combat years) after serving in WWII or Vietnam.


What a Waste!

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Looking for a father...

My poor father, bless his soul, is dead.  I thought of him today as I took the wheels off of a bicycle, I bought at a yard sale to give to a younger, fatherless girl down the street.

 My father, who had no sons, served in the Korean War, and came back emotionally damaged and physically broken, but determined to train some one in the ways of the world,  and that person was me.  I didn't listen, then, but I remember, now.

Why own something, if you don't know how to fix it?  Sage words lost on young ears.  I remember being forced to hand him tools in the garage as he lay underneath our ridiculous station wagon, changing the oil.  I wasn't interested in cars.  But, because I knew his tools, I later built a go-cart and I could fix my own bike.  Now, I will try to help the younger me down the street understand the same lesson.  

Had a chance to remember my father yesterday, again--May 28, 2012.  Memorial Day helps the families left behind to heal.  I hope that it was a reflective day for so many.  My neighbors in Brooklyn Centre held a beautiful and touching ceremony:

Brooklyn Centre Memorial Day Service


Brooklyn Centre Memorial Day Ceremony
Join us for a service at the historic Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground, also known as Denison Cemetery to honor our military veterans.
  • 11:00 am, Monday, May 26th
Meet at the historic Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground located on Garden Avenue east of Pearl Road behind Aldi’s.
This Cemetery had its first burial in 1823 and was deeded the Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground in 1853.  Many war veterans, starting with the Revolutionary War are buried in this local historic cemetery.
Thank you to the volunteers of our community that pitched in last week to clean and beautify the cemetery…if you’ve not participated in this event previously you are encouraged to do so this year!
For more information or questions, please call Rick Nicholson, Brooklyn Centre Historical Society, 216-398-1494.
REF:  Brooklyn Centre Historical Society or Denison Cemetery
·         Ruth E. Ketteringham – In Memoriam; http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/rek/
·         Interment Information, Michele Danielle; http://www.geocities.com/micheledanielle/Denison.html
·         OHIO CEMETERY PRESERVATION SOCIETY; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohcps/mission.html
·         Info they have on Denison Cemetery; http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohcuyah2/cems/denison/
·         Additional site with interment information; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=40531&CScnty=2057&

we're planning on coming down

Thanks for the reminder. We should be coming down on the 807--we're tired of walking this weekend.


Dave and Sharon were telling us that, at the cleanup, they started getting some of the stones moved back into place, but even with 6 guys, they couldn't get them quite back as they were.


I wish we had taped Ruth's speech from two years ago, the one about water finding its way to the rivers, and conservation, and stewardship--it really was spiritual, the way she said it.


A 12 foot high tripod made from 4x4s, a chain fall, and a nylon strap can lift a ton.   Stone is about 150lbs/cu/ft.    Let me know if you need the set up.  

that's a good idea--and a segue to the new felony wrap

Jeff, I forgot I had such expertise just a hoot and a holler away, in Cleveland Heights. I think we may get to doing that tripod thing--these old stones were just piled one on top of the other, not even a thin bed of grout, nothing.


This would be a good way to get things setting upright again.


The neighborhood has existed since the late 1800s--we had some metal markers on the graves to show where the veterans were. Today, they were gone--scrappers, apparently.


We need to make this sort of thing a felony--for the scrapper bringing the goods in, to the junk-yard owner, to the dealers, to the off-duty policeman who stands guard at the junkyards and practices casting a blind eye.


Tim, if some measely metal markers have been ripped off from the graveyard where you had them temporarily marking old graves:  please don’t’ blame the hardworking scrap men who came by with their shopping carts.


For years metal – including bronze plaques, copper water pipes and downspouts, aluminum siding, cast iron man hole covers – has been secure from pilferage.    No one was so desperate that the miscellaneous metal was worth the effort to steal. 


That is no longer true.


Today there are solid, hard, engineering and architectural examples all around us of our society cracking up from income disparity. 


Park benches no longer have flat spaces six feet long – because the homeless would move in.  Now public benches are interrupted with knobs, armrests, and other gimmicks so no one can lay down on them. 


Today’s architectural design cannot expose any metal of value (which is pretty much any metal) because the metal will be removed.   Overnight


Catalytic converters come out from under SUVs in a minute with a Makita battery powered sawzall (very good line of tools).  Aluminum wheel rims (tires on) are worth a walk.


I think the scrappers and the junk yard buyers are just like coal mine canaries.   They are working hard to help us see the deadly danger in our environment.  Without scrappers our poisonous income disparity could remain invisible to us until it is too late and our national mine explodes.


We need to keep our eye on the canaries – who are already dizzy jerking cast iron sewer pipes out of vacant foreclosed homes and then momentarily stumbling into public view on the dirty floor of our nation’s economic cage.   



Make certain there is no open flame....

The Past

  Today was a chance to revisit our not so distant past and acknowledge those who came before us.  Yes, Jeff--ashes to ashes, we all fall down--we expect to die and we even expect to be forgotten, but that doesn't lessen the poignancy of our forgotten fallen and our civic duty to respect their contribution.  To steal a grave marker shows just how badly our society has disintegrated.

Where were the children?   No children this year.  It makes it extra hard on the adults to make them remember.

good take, Jeff