Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Something profoundly moving happened here in Tucson last weekend. 58 American soldiers were buried with full honors and deep respect. Many people, none of whom ever met these soldiers came together in a bittersweet ceremony to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in service to our country. Please read about this event in this article excerpted from the Cochise County website.

Soldiers from Civil War and Indian Wars reburied with full military honors

On May 16, 58 soldiers [were] reburied at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. They served in the U.S. Army in Arizona from 1862 to 1881.

The soldiers [were] buried in a 19th Century-style military cemetery. The plot was built especially for the remains of these soldiers that were found in Tucson. It is surrounded by a stone and iron wall similar to Fort Huachuca’s cemetery.

Where: Southern Arizona Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, 1300 Buffalo Soldier Trail, Sierra Vista

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [provided] period headstones for the troopers, and cemetery officials plan to erect a monument describing the soldiers’ lives during the Indian Wars. The troopers [were] laid to rest with full military honors a stone’s throw away from the oldest operating Army post in Arizona.

The soldiers’ remains were found a couple of years ago in Tucson during an excavation. Originally, the soldiers were buried in a military cemetery that served Fort Lowell in Tucson during the Civil and Indian Wars.

Research showed that many of the soldiers were part of the California Column. This was a 2,300-man brigade that marched into the territory from California in the spring of 1862. Their mission was to confront and drive out Confederate troops who controlled the southern part of what is now Arizona and New Mexico.

Troops from the California Column occupied Tucson on 20 May 1862. Various California units were stationed there until April 1866. Other remains represent the 1st, 3rd and 6th U.S. Cavalry regiments, as well as the 8th, 21st and 32nd U.S. Infantry who served at Fort Lowell during the late 1860s to the 1880s.Two of the soldiers were U.S. Army Indian Scouts, and one was a “Buffalo Soldier.”

See Ya Down the Road,

1 comment:

Geezerguy said...

It makes you stop and think...different times, different needs, but the sacrifice remains the same.