Letter to the Editor

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, March 2, 2006

By Staff
Alabama veterans deserve cemetery
As most everyone knows, we have a Veteran's cemetery in Mobile on Virginia Street (Magnolia Cemetery). This was built several years ago by concerned citizens and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, even though there were veterans in Mobile and Baldwin counties that needed a burial spot. Now many years later we are told by the Veteran's Administration that we do not need another cemetery here because Biloxi, Mississippi and Pensacola, Florida have one. They offered some money to expand the present cemetery but the problem is, they issued a directive that it had to be within 2 miles of the Magnolia Cemetery. There is no land within 2 miles that will meet this requirement.
This problem has been worked on for 18 years. There is no room for anymore burials in Magnolia Cemetery. Biloxi is full and Pensacola is not much better. To meet our present and future needs would require at least 150 more acres. So, now our veterans are stuck with the choices of Biloxi or Pensacola. The only other choice would be regular cemeteries in the area.
Why should a veteran that wants to be buried in a veteran's cemetery, with full military honors, be faced to accept anything less. Why should a spouse have to drive all the way to Biloxi or Pensacola to visit their loved one's grave. Some do not have means to even go that far.
Alabama has furnished more troops to the military, per chapter, than any other state for all the past wars. Now we have many World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans becoming of age that their numbers will need a veteran's cemetery.
At present, the Alabama Veterans Council has asked the Baldwin County Commissioners to help. They are doing everything to help us establish a cemetery on Highway 225 in Baldwin County. All veteran's organizations are behind their effort.
This letter is to ask all citizens of South Alabama to get behind this effort and correct a wrong to our old veterans and the ones of today's wars that will need this in the future. If you ask any veteran in South Alabama if they want to be buried in Mississippi or Florida, the answer will be "No".
The veterans for over 200 years have given their lives to keep this country free. They have answered the call to serve when needed. There is no question that they deserve a place to be buried with honor. Are the veterans of today as deserving as veterans of yesterday? I think so.
I thank you, each and everyone for your support.
Col. Glenn Frazier, President
South Alabama
Veterans Council

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