Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Grave Matter

Late in the day on Tuesday, October 13, I stopped by the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to visit the grave of an old friend. As I entered the side that faces the ocean, my jaw dropped. A large backhoe and other earth-moving equipment stood silently over large sections of torn-up ground. Stacks of removed headstones and grave markers stood near large piles of dirt and deeply dug trenches. In other areas, the grass had been completely removed, leaving gravestones surrounded by bare earth.

Assuagement came in the form of a sign that explained what was going on: “We are in the process of raising and realigning grave markers and headstones…. No graves will be disturbed.”

Later on, I telephoned the number on the sign and was eventually transferred to Kirk Leopard, the cemetery director. He explained that gravestones eventually become misaligned, both vertically and horizontally, due to settling and the occasional earthquake. Every ten years or so, he needs to send a crew out to realign them. This time, however, a different method is being used.

Following guidelines established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, a trench is dug and a long concrete beam is poured. Then concrete boxes are mounted in it, which form slots that the original gravestones can be placed into, leaving about an inch on each side. The gaps are filled with decomposed granite, sort of like gravel, which holds the marker securely in place. After the grave markers are reinstalled, the trenches filled in, and the grass replaced, the cemetery will be as beautiful as it was before, except the headstones will no longer shift or move over time.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Good-bye, easy walking to Del Mar beach

Fencing to be built along train tracks on bluffs
Next Article

San Diego watersheds trashed by street sweeping negligence

"Many routes with high debris are designated as low priority," audit finds

Late in the day on Tuesday, October 13, I stopped by the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to visit the grave of an old friend. As I entered the side that faces the ocean, my jaw dropped. A large backhoe and other earth-moving equipment stood silently over large sections of torn-up ground. Stacks of removed headstones and grave markers stood near large piles of dirt and deeply dug trenches. In other areas, the grass had been completely removed, leaving gravestones surrounded by bare earth.

Assuagement came in the form of a sign that explained what was going on: “We are in the process of raising and realigning grave markers and headstones…. No graves will be disturbed.”

Later on, I telephoned the number on the sign and was eventually transferred to Kirk Leopard, the cemetery director. He explained that gravestones eventually become misaligned, both vertically and horizontally, due to settling and the occasional earthquake. Every ten years or so, he needs to send a crew out to realign them. This time, however, a different method is being used.

Following guidelines established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, a trench is dug and a long concrete beam is poured. Then concrete boxes are mounted in it, which form slots that the original gravestones can be placed into, leaving about an inch on each side. The gaps are filled with decomposed granite, sort of like gravel, which holds the marker securely in place. After the grave markers are reinstalled, the trenches filled in, and the grass replaced, the cemetery will be as beautiful as it was before, except the headstones will no longer shift or move over time.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jerry Andrews preaches the beauty of the savior

“Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.”
Next Article

Santa Ana winds bring San Diego's driest days; where to cool off; best view of Mars till 2033

Natural San Diego, September 28-October 4
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close