Jump to content

Department Of Veterans Affairs


Recommended Posts

I just read the above link to the regulations and my previous concerns about infringements on my first ammendment might of been said in haste.

 

Geocaching is seen as a recreational activity so with the following rule I'm wondering.

 

§12.11 Recreational activities.

Engaging in a recreational activity is prohibited.

Link to post
  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

The contacting of Mr. Muro by Randy Bates, Lead Pot Stirrer for Catherine Ceips, is solely to gain the support of the Department of Veteran Affairs for the bill in South Carolina. You will see them listed as supporters of the bill, I guarantee it.

 

Randy Bates is not just "Special Assistant" he is also her campaign director. What better way to pad one's politician builder resume than groom a legislator which "gets things done." It is my suspicion that it is Mr. Bates who is major player behind the bill. Ceips is nothing but a figurehead. (Though not without fault.)

 

BTW, watch for trolls. The username "Extreme Geocacher" is a mole. There will be more as this heats up.

Link to post

I find it very hard that they want to ban us from cemeteries as cachers but if you look on the internet you will find where they are offering tours to these same cemeteries. I wonder if she is trying to ban these too. Or do they fund ($$) her means and office?

 

I'm also wondering when Ceips is going to try to ban the Boy Scouts next from doing service projects in cemeteries. They way she wants it the cemeteries will all turn ugly, over grown and forgotten.

 

I know of a couple in SC that is what has happen. I visited one a few weeks ago (was sure to leave my GPSr in the car) but it was in desperate need of some people visiting and TLC.

 

I don't know how many times I have seen people walking and walking dogs in cemeteries as well. Will this not be allowed either.

Edited by Parrolet
Link to post
I just read the above link to the regulations and my previous concerns about infringements on my first ammendment might of been said in haste.

 

Geocaching is seen as a recreational activity so with the following rule I'm wondering.

 

§12.11 Recreational activities.

Engaging in a recreational activity is prohibited.

This is the Waymarking forum, not a Geocaching forum. The Medal of Honor resting places category isn't a recreational waymark category. It is a documentation of the resting places of Medal of Honor recipients.

 

Attending a funeral isn't called recreation even though you may walk to a grave site. Although coordinate marking could be used in recreation it has other uses like geography, archeology, navigation, etc.

Link to post
I just read the above link to the regulations and my previous concerns about infringements on my first ammendment might of been said in haste.

 

Geocaching is seen as a recreational activity so with the following rule I'm wondering.

 

§12.11 Recreational activities.

Engaging in a recreational activity is prohibited.

This is the Waymarking forum, not a Geocaching forum. The Medal of Honor resting places category isn't a recreational waymark category. It is a documentation of the resting places of Medal of Honor recipients.

 

Attending a funeral isn't called recreation even though you may walk to a grave site. Although coordinate marking could be used in recreation it has other uses like geography, archeology, navigation, etc.

 

Excuse me!

 

I'll say it again but will use the right word.

 

Waymarking is seen as a recreational activity.

 

§12.3 Definitions.

Recreational activity means any form of athletics, sport or other leisure pursuit or event, whether organized or spontaneous, that is engaged in by one or more persons for the primary purpose of exercise, relaxation or enjoyment, including but not limited to the following: jogging, racing, skating, skateboarding, ball playing, kite flying, model airplane flying, throwing objects through the air, sunbathing, bicycling and picknicking. This term does not include walking, hiking or casual strolling.

 

There is a simple solution to this problem just don't take any pictures. Pay a visit and show your respect.

Link to post
What's the difference between researching genealogy in a cemetery and cataloging locations of Medal of Honor winners?

If I read the letter correctly, the distinction is the publication on a website of a picture of a "trinket" resting on a gravestone.

 

Geneology requires no pictures be published at all. This waymark category actually doesn't require a picture of the gps resting on a gravestone, (many of the pictures have the waymarker holding the gps in his/her hand), but several folks did take the picture that way.

 

I didn't see anything asking waymarkers to stay out of national cemeteries or cease Waymarking, just a request to stop publishing the pictures Mr. Muro saw as disrespectful.

 

Given the outrageous spin the topic was probably given by the person who called the issue to Mr. Muro's attention, I think his reaction was surprisingly mild. Perhaps he felt he had to react in some fashion to the "complaint", but did not entirely believe the story he was given?

 

I suspect Mr. Irish and Mr. Muro might be able to find common ground if they were able to talk over a beer - too bad they are on opposite ends of the country though.

Link to post
I didn't see anything asking waymarkers to stay out of national cemeteries or cease Waymarking, just a request to stop publishing the pictures Mr. Muro saw as disrespectful.

Isn't that censorship? I can understand if an individual asks such a thing but coming from a government official it could be considered censorship.

 

Note that Mr. Muro is not an elected official. However he is human and I doubt he even realized how offensive I find a government official trying to enforce his own personal opinion on a private citizen. It is an abuse of power, IMO. Perhaps it is a small abuse of power but I still find it offensive.

Link to post

A couple of comments.

 

As to geneaolgy and photo-documentation. Good genealogy absolutely requires proper documentation of all data, preferably using first-hand sources of information whenever possible. The information on a tombstone may lead to significant new insight into the life activities of an individual. A photograph of the stone is preferred over a transcription, because the person doing the transcription might unwittingly transpose letters or numbers, neglect to record some of the information, or make other errors or omissions. Hobbyist genealogists used to do rubbings of the stones. Although these are sometimes quite lovely to view, they are not the recommneded practice because repeated rubbings may cause damage to stones, increase damage caused by natural weathering and age, or discolor the stone if done improperly. Having the GPS inlcuded in the photograph with visible readings for latitude and longitude also helps to eliminate the opportunity for transcription errors.

 

I recommended in an earlier post that the readings on the gps should be visibly included in such documentation. To do so ideally would mean that both the face of the stone and the face of the gps receiver would be visible in the same frame. Best practice would indicate holding the gps in front of the stone for the shot. There is no reason that the gps would have to actually touch the stone, although as I pointed out earlier, there is no possibility of harm to the stone from having a gps placed on the stone for this purpose.

 

As to Waymarking, there does need to be some method to share the significant information with others who will view the data. Otherwise, we could all stay home and claim that we had visited every site. Photo-documentaion serves nicely in this instance as well.

 

There are certainly other means of proving that one has visited a location. In the case of state parks and various public displays there will be pamphlets, stickers, guidebooks, ticket stubs, patches, etc available. No such memorablia exists for visiting the sites of out nations heros, unfortunately, and most likely never will. Until then, a simple photograph is an excellent resource for that purpose.

Link to post

I'm not defending the position, but Mr. Muro's objection was not to a photograph per se, but to a photograph of the "trinket" resting on a gravestone.

 

The visible coordinates argument would be valid, but not one of the pictures I looked at had legible coordinates. The ones that had the gps held in the hand were closer to being readable though. If the logging requirement were legible coordinates, I wonder if we would see more hand-held pictures?

Link to post
If the logging requirement were legible coordinates, I wonder if we would see more hand-held pictures?

Actually, you wouldn't. It's my extensive experience that a photo of the coordinates published in a size manageable by this site's storage space requires a very steady shot for the compression of the image later (using a Garmin Yellow model's display).

 

The best method for that is to take a picture of the GPSr facing skyward (for best lighting) and laying on a steady surface (like a gravestone). It's just that the picture would be so zoomed in as to make the gravestone unrecognizable in most cases.

 

While we are hobbyists and we are cataloging locations as waymarks, I think there's a certain amount of trust in the information that can be made such that a picture of the GPSr in frame with the gravestone being cataloged need not also display the coordinates legibly. But to not include the GPSr doesn't exude that same level of trust in the numbers even coming from having been at the location.

Link to post
I didn't see anything asking waymarkers to stay out of national cemeteries or cease Waymarking, just a request to stop publishing the pictures Mr. Muro saw as disrespectful.

Isn't that censorship? I can understand if an individual asks such a thing but coming from a government official it could be considered censorship.

 

Note that Mr. Muro is not an elected official. However he is human and I doubt he even realized how offensive I find a government official trying to enforce his own personal opinion on a private citizen. It is an abuse of power, IMO. Perhaps it is a small abuse of power but I still find it offensive.

Jeremy - I really honestly don't know if it's censorship or not. I can imagine some objects placed on military gravestones for photographs that would offend me terribly, but I suppose they would have "expressive intent" and therefore First Amendment protection. If Mr. Muro's request (which could become a National Park Service regulation with the stroke of a pen) is not to put objects on tombstones in National Cemeteries, that might be viewed as "content neutral" and therefore not protected nonspeech. I'm no lawyer and I won't pretend to know anything more than an hour searching on the internet would tell me.

 

The instigator of the letter is a 20-year Marine veteran, and I can't help but wonder if Mr. Muro was writing the gentlest letter he could that would calm down one of his vets who had a serious grudge against a website and was making a big stink.

 

My comment was that I suspect that if you and Mr. Muro could sit down and talk over a beer, you might find your views could be aligned and could find a middle ground. As we see almost every day in email and the forums, the written word does not convey emotion and intent very well and is subject to frequent misinterpretation. Perhaps I'm dreaming (I'm sure I'll be told so by several folks in a few minutes), but I still wish you two could share that beer share your views, and work this out between you.

 

(edited 1/19/06 to change "expressive content" to "expresive intent" - I told you I was no lawyer)

Edited by ikim & noj
Link to post
But to not include the GPSr doesn't exude that same level of trust in the numbers even coming from having been at the location.

I don't read Mr. Muro's request as that the GPS should not be included in the shot at all; he seemed perfectly comfortable with the shots that showed the GPS in someone's hands.

 

If legible coordinates can't be achieved anyway, I don't see how Waymarking is impaired by handheld gps shots. I do understand that Jeremy and many others view this as a matter of principle, but I worry that we might be entering into an unnecessary battle that would hurt the sport, win or lose.

Edited by ikim & noj
Link to post

Why not post two pictures. The first of the monument alone. The second a closeup of the GPS that would legibly show the coordinates. The first would satisfy the "dignity" issue of the VA. The second the requiement the GPS is indicated for proof of personal visit and to provide any geneology standards. Everyone wins. :)

Link to post
Jeremy - I really honestly don't know if it's censorship or not.  I can imagine some objects placed on military gravestones for photographs that would offend me terribly, but I suppose they would have "expressive intent" and therefore First Amendment protection.  If Mr. Muro's request (which could become a National Park Service regulation with the stroke of a pen) is not to put objects on tombstones in National Cemeteries, that might be viewed as "content neutral" and therefore not protected nonspeech.  I'm no lawyer and I won't pretend to know anything more than an hour searching on the internet would tell me.

This is the second time that you've posted this, but you are missing a valuable point: 'Political speech' is in the eye of the speaker. Certainly, the signers of the Constitution meant to protect speech beyond 'I hate Bush'. You might note that any and all religious speech is protected, even though it's not inherently political. Also, art and pictures that many find disgusting and inflamatory has been determined to be protected, even though it is not inherently political. In fact, it could be argued that the pictures in question are political on their face, since banning them is being discussed by a government agent.

 

You seem to believe that Mr. Muro has both the will, the authority, and the power to stop people from placing any object atop a grave marker. I have no idea about the first two, but do you honestly think that such a rule could possibly be enforced? What about my previous example? What about someone who places a flower or a bible on top of one? How about the parent who loses a child and places a object meaningful to both atop the stone?

The instigator of the letter is a 20-year Marine veteran, and I can't help but wonder if Mr. Muro was writing the gentlest letter he could that would calm down one of his vets who had a serious grudge against a website and was making a big stink.

This is a problem inherent in the political system. If I write a letter, will Mr. Muro send a letter to Ceips telling her to get bent?

My comment was that I suspect that if you and Mr. Muro could sit down and talk over a beer, you might find your views could be aligned and could find a middle ground.

What middle ground? There is noting wrong with setting a GPSr on a grave marker for a few moments and snapping a pic. It can do no damage, it will not be left as litter, and it does not disparage the dead in any way.

Edited by sbell111
Link to post

Again, all of this discussion is academic. The purpose of Mr. Bates contacting Mr. Muro is solely to garner support for H.3777.

 

There is a little talk that Waymarking has come under the radar of the Ceips camp and they are wanting it included in the bill. Quite honestly I'm don't know how they are going to enforce such considering the fumbling they've made in the past. It is quite clear they don't understand the general concepts behind our hobbies.

 

I don't think they really care about the GPS on the marker. All they care about is to be able to stand in front of the Senate and say "We have the support of Department of Veteran Affairs in the passage of this bill." Nothing more.

 

Also, consider Mr. Bates is acting like a 2nd grader and going around tattling on everything he thinks he can get away with. Are we in the dark about Mr. Bates trying to address this situation directly with Groundspeak? I doubt it. That's not his MO. Again, his MO is simply a line item, add another supporter to the bill. Nothing more.

 

If fact, I can see his face as he reads this thread. I see that snug look on his face right now.

 

If you really want to do something, write a letter to Mr. Muro and let him know he has become yet another pawn in a political game. Urge him to not support political resume padding. Let him know this bill is not what veterans have fought and died for in the past. In fact, it is counter to their memories to use gile to restrict an innocent hobby.

Link to post
Again, all of this discussion is academic. The purpose of Mr. Bates contacting Mr. Muro is solely to garner support for H.3777.

 

There is a little talk that Waymarking has come under the radar of the Ceips camp and they are wanting it included in the bill. ...

I suddenly flashed on a roadblock at the SC border. Everyone would be stopped to verify that neither their cars, phones, or watches contain GPSrs. I hope other state's pols have better things to do with their day. If they don't we'll just have to kick them out.

Link to post
I hope other state's pols have better things to do with their day.

They don't.

 

You previously noted that you don't care about what SC is doing with geocaching. Well, the letter to Mr. Muro shows that SC's Rep. Ceips just went national with her campaign against geocaching. Politicians in other states will eventually see the "need" to enact legislation to deal with geocaching.

Link to post
And we will deal with our pols. Its really as simple as that.

Are you saying that, if caching in your state becomes jeopardized, you wouldn't welcome the assistance of cachers from other states in defeating a similar bill? What may affect us may also, ultimately, affect you. If this bill is defeated, it won't necessarily show up on other politicians' radar. If it's not defeated, then I can guarantee that some politician looking for a "pet cause" will take the ball and run with it. Let me know how that works out for ya. No offense intended.

Link to post
And we will deal with our pols.  Its really as simple as that.

Are you saying that, if caching in your state becomes jeopardized, you wouldn't welcome the assistance of cachers from other states in defeating a similar bill? What may affect us may also, ultimately, affect you.

I doubt that. I can't look into his head but I can understand that as someone not living in South Carolina there isn't a whole heck of a lot we can do. My in-laws have land in South Carolina but I don't reside there nor have a vote. Otherwise I'd probably get a house in her district and run against her :anitongue:

 

What we can do is influence our own representatives. It's how our government works.

 

Honestly I wouldn't mind some real journalist to look into this. The manipulative nature of this legislation really has some good journalistic legs.

Link to post

This is a serious subject no doubt and there is far too much information for me to reply right now with a serious well-thought out response, but there is one thing I did note through the 2 pages. Some more "extreme comments" are what gets us in trouble. Comments about people, situations, and just general feelings. It is a known fact people read this forum who are from the gov. and some people like the attention. You don't give them the attention they want, they have to find a way to get some, seems like this has happened and we have taken to playing into that game once again.

 

I did notice in the letter from the VA he did state he was ok with tasteful pictures, just not distasteful and yes this leads to the whole debate what is and is not tasteful in nature. Is putting the GPS next to the headstone tasteful/distasteful and so forth.

 

I honestly do not know where else this thread could go in a peaceful manner. So please, if you continue take a moment to draft up a response and don't just hit response and type away from nonsense and if you really want to rally and fight the big bro., good for you, and yes you have the right to free speech, and I know some more then others will use it, but remember from gov. class, your rights end where someone elses begins.

Link to post
And we will deal with our pols.  Its really as simple as that.

Are you saying that, ...

What I meant was this...

 

I can't do anything about SC. I don't live there, don't visit there, and don't know any of the politicians personally.

 

I currently live in TN. I know personally know politicians in TN and NY. If this were happening in my state, I would work on my representatives. If I could not sway them to my side, I would work to have them replaced.

Link to post

In my view placing an item momentarily on a gravestone is not vandalism, or even having even so much as a modest impact on it.

 

Acid Rain causes far more damage to headstones than any GPS ever will. Maybe targeting industry would go farther? <_<

 

The group that contacted Jeremy was well intended, however, probably out of line expecting that they speak for the families of Veterans.

 

Anything that promotes awareness of Veterans and increases education and discussion without causing damage should be encouraged.

 

Simpy stating that placing a "trinket" regardless of its nature on a headstone is disrespectful does not qualify it as so. The image of a GPS is very minor in relation to the actual experience garnered from the visit.

 

Some people believe that it is a waste of land to maintain cemetaries as a place to store the dead. The arguments are long, and general a waste of time.

 

All I know is that if I was a deceased Veteran, and someone thought that my headstone was important enough to attract the attention of others, and by some form of visitation people were able to leave with any feelings on the matter... then I was honoured again.

 

Do the deceased care (seriously... as in a 'looking from outside' perspective)? If they do, they are probably happy to continue to be a message for future generations.... and if they don't... why waste time trying to shield them?

 

By the way, flowers aren't the only things people leave at graves.... candles, figurines, wreaths, coins, letters, photographs and numerous other 'trinkets' get left behind daily.

 

The reason why the GPS is resting on top of the headstone is because the person is visiting alone. This isn't some school trip with 25-30 kids touring the grounds, stepping who knows whereand doing who knows what... this is often a respectful adult that is interested in the history, or wants to be enriched through the education of the site.

 

While this isn't the best example... there is a legend that placing coins on the headstones of members of the Donnelly family brings people good luck. The "Black Donnelly's" violent history can be found here.. Official Donnelly Webpage.

 

I feel sorry for people like Ceips and her minions that have chosen to focus their efforts on such a minor group (sorry, but comparitively it's true) and trying to squash the potential benefits.... good thing that poverity and health care issues were fixed in the USA... but the enlightened often have to endure this sort of thing....

 

Geocaching/Waymarking will be around long after this issue.... but one would think that in days like these when people are barely aware of the events for WW1 and WW2 anymore, that Waymarking would be a great vehicle to re-introduce awareness.

 

:P The Blue Quasar

Link to post

Note that Mr. Muro is not an elected official. However he is human and I doubt he even realized how offensive I find a government official trying to enforce his own personal opinion on a private citizen. It is an abuse of power, IMO. Perhaps it is a small abuse of power but I still find it offensive.

 

Did you perhaps receive a different letter than the one you scanned and posted?

 

Because according to that letter, it is Steve Muro's job to administer the National Cemetaries, and to therefore manage the activities that go on inside of them.

There is no evidence to suggest that he is a petty bureaucrat on some sort of personal crusade.

 

While Mr. Muro seemed a bit vague on the nature of the website (for example, he seemed under the impression that Groundspeak posts the pictures found in the way marking category), I don't believe he is acting out of malice, rather out of a genuine concern for the sanctity of the dead.

 

Personally, I think you missed a great opportunity in your response to educate Mr. Muro about Waymarking and alleviate his concerns about the photographs.

 

-ajb

Link to post

By the way, flowers aren't the only things people leave at graves.... candles, figurines, wreaths, coins, letters, photographs and numerous other 'trinkets' get left behind daily.

As a general rule, a lot of those things are against the regulations of National Cemeteries or only permitted during certain times of the year.

 

-ajb

Edited by madajb
Link to post

madajb is probably referring to Section §12.10 of the National Cemetery Regulations. I imagine the intent was probably to restrict leaving things behind rather than just resting an object on a gravestone for a moment, but anyway, here's the relevant section of the regulations that I found:

§12.10 Floral and commemorative tributes.

The placement on a grave of fresh cut or artifical flowers in or on a metal or other non-breakable rod or container designated by the superintendent is allowed at times designated by the superintendent. The placement of a statue, vigil light, or other commemorative object on a grave, or the securing or attaching of any object to a headstone, marker or commemorative monument is prohibited.

 

§12.11 Recreational activities.

Engaging in a recreational activity is prohibited.

Link to post
The contacting of Mr. Muro by Randy Bates, Lead Pot Stirrer for Catherine Ceips, is solely to gain the support of the Department of Veteran Affairs for the bill in South Carolina. You will see them listed as supporters of the bill, I guarantee it.

 

Randy Bates is not just "Special Assistant" he is also her campaign director. What better way to pad one's politician builder resume than groom a legislator which "gets things done." It is my suspicion that it is Mr. Bates who is major player behind the bill. Ceips is nothing but a figurehead. (Though not without fault.)

 

BTW, watch for trolls. The username "Extreme Geocacher" is a mole. There will be more as this heats up.

Interesting.

 

I am an Army Reservist mobilized and overseas from a unit in SC.

 

The deepr I look into this the more I agree this is just a political stunt to help her reelection. The lies and distortions used go to show her ntentions were less than 100% innocent.

 

I will be off active duty by the time her campaign is spooling up, I wonder how well it will read when it gets published that she passed a bill banning the favorite hooby of several soldiers form her state while deployed.

 

Geocachers may not be a big enough group to care about.... but I can tie us into a group that people do care about. Her dragging the VA into this has convinced me that perhaps the public needs to know the whole story.

 

All political actions have repercussions...I hope her campaign manager is thinking about all of them.

Link to post

After discussing this topic with my wife (who is generally smarter than I am), I have changed my mind slightly (not that an non-USA perspective really applies)

 

Placing the GPS on the tombstone is the only thing that the letter was referring to. And I think that is a fair request to not make physical contact with the headstone of a Veteran.

 

I've done several Waymarks, and never once needed to 'place' my GPS anywhere. I take a self-portrait by holding the camera out at arms length, and take a picture of me holding my GPS up with the other hand and the item behind me.

 

I know that First Ammendment is really important to you guys, but when you consider that they aren't requesting people not use Veteran Graves for Waymarking, but just to not actually touch the headstone, it sounds like a fair request.

 

From the way you guys have described Ms. Ceips, she sounds bent on banning all facets of Geocaching and maybe Waymarking... that didn't sound like the same stance from the Veterans Group.

 

You can prove you were there without needing to physically touch the headstone, so why not show yourself to be understanding, compasionate and willing to discuss alternatives to keep everyone happy.... if Ms. Ceips is really trying to make a play against Groundspeak, working out an arrangement with the Veterans group would really show her as incorrect and could add support for the Waymarking/Geocaching community.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

Link to post

I am so tired of this debate. Rep Ceips doesn't have anyones interest in mind but her own. If tour guides can make money off of leading tours through grave yards why can't I find a particular grave marker via my GPSr? Here is the web address of one such tour guide in Charleston, SC. His name is Ed Macy and I took his tour last Dec with group of Basset hound rescuers like myself.

 

www.hauntedhound.com

 

This man charges people for a tour of the very cemetaries Rep Ceips says she is protecting. What am I missing here? He can charge to take a group through a cemetary, yes you are paying for his knowledge, yet I can't waymark a headstone? He is not the only one either, and I don't begrudge him or the others what they do. Mr. Macy is very knowledgable person when it comes to Charleston history. Just don't try to blow smoke up my backside by saying you are protecting the dignity of the deceased when all manner of tours are allowed into cemetaries but not Waymarking.

Edited by Fenderstrat72
Link to post

Good points there!

 

The reason why I wanted to get involved in this discussion is because I am about to be involved in discussions across Canada for our National Parks System.

 

I've been reading the Forums and also some sites quoting Ms Ceips just so I can be better informed for our meeting with Parks Canada.

 

Ms. Ceips comments regarding historical plaques and possibly the historical resting places and battlegrounds may be brought forward and I think it would be wise if I (or we considering the other Geocachers involved) knew how to handle this issue.

 

I'd be lying if I agreed 100% with either group on this one, but I still don't like the way Ms. Ceips is approaching the topic, or handling it. Unprofessional in my opinion. However, typical of many levels of Government to 'dictate' to the masses instead of consulting with them.

 

If she really enjoyes the democratic process, she might be best advised to involve those with awareness instead of her current course of action.

 

Good luck to you... I watch with interest in the developements.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

Link to post
I am so tired of this debate.  Rep Ceips doesn't have anyones interest in mind but her own.  If tour guides can make money off of leading tours through grave yards why can't I find a particular grave marker via my GPSr?  Here is the web address of one such tour guide in Charleston, SC.  His name is Ed Macy and I took his tour last Dec with group of Basset hound rescuers like myself. 

 

www.hauntedhound.com

 

This man charges people for a tour of the very cemetaries Rep Ceips says she is protecting.  What am I missing here?  He can charge to take a group through a cemetary, yes you are paying for his knowledge, yet I can't waymark a headstone?  He is not the only one either, and I don't begrudge him or the others what they do.  Mr. Macy is very knowledgable person when it comes to Charleston history.  Just don't try to blow smoke up my backside by saying you are protecting the dignity of the deceased when all manner of tours are allowed into cemetaries but not Waymarking.

One word, taxes.

Link to post
If tour guides can make money off of leading tours through grave yards why can't I find a particular grave marker via my GPSr?  Here is the web address of one such tour guide in Charleston, SC.  His name is Ed Macy and I took his tour last Dec with group of Basset hound rescuers like myself. 

 

www.hauntedhound.com

I would love to see his photo pages, but the link appears broken.

Link to post

Check out this one. They boast that they are the only company that can tour cemetaries at night. Now how did they get permission to do that????

 

http://www.bulldogtours.com/

 

Bulldog Tours is the only walking tour company in Charleston that can take you anywhere other than the sidewalks at night!! We have EXCLUSIVE access to the Old City Jail, Dungeon, and Charleston 's oldest graveyard! :)

 

Bulldog Tours is Charleston 's premier walking tour company offering exclusive access to many of the most infamous and haunted sites. More than just the usual ghost tours, Bulldog offers a variety of evening and late-night walking tours that take you behind-the-scenes of the Holy City’s graveyards, back alleyways, Provost Dungeon, Old City Jail and deep into the Charleston 's Haunted Historic District.

Edited by Fenderstrat72
Link to post

I don't know if this thread is going to be treated like a "poll" to gauge geocachers thoughts. (& if it did, I'm not sure that I've found enough to earn an opinion...) Others have said this better but I want to include my opinion here as well.

 

I think that cemeteries, graves and headstones are places and things that are very emotional topics for people. Whenever I hear about something involving a cemetery, I do have to stop and think about how my 85 year old Aunt would react if it were my Grandparent's grave and cemetery that was involved.

 

I think it is only common courtesy to have respect for the relatives of the dead and to treat their resting places accordingly.

 

Just to let you know my position, I do believe that we have the right (both moral and legal) to be in a public cemetery. even if we are carrying a GPS. I think that appropriate caches are possible on cemetery grounds. I think that some cache locations should not be chosen because they are too close to the graves and would be seen as being disrespectful. I think that encouraging visitors to read the headstones is goodness and a great part of a multi-cache.

 

This particular case is discussing a national veteran's cemetery. I haven't visited many but I have seen pictures. One of the images that really has an impact on me personally is seeing all the clean markers, lined up in rows that go on (unfortunatly) what seems like forever. The uniformity of the headstones adds to that impact for me. I believe this is by design and I can understand if someone finds it offensive to see pictures of "things" placed on top of the headstones.

 

I think if the person in charge of maintaining these cemeteries (and thus the assigned representative for the property owner) asks us to stop posting pictures of headstones in these cemeteries with objects on top, that we should do so.

 

An argument has been presented that he does not have the legal right to make us do so so we shouldn't have to. I'm not a lawyer so I won't address that side of this.

 

I will say, however, that there are many things that people do every day becuase they are common courtesies. Some examples might be using words like please and thank you, letting someone merge into the lane in front of you instead of speeding up to close the gap just because you can, holding the door for the old lady with the walker to go through first... as far as I know, you don't HAVE to do any of these things & you won't be arrested if you don't. Now, I don't believe we should have laws telling you that you have to do these things but I do believe that the world is a much better place for the people who do.

 

My vote is for adding a note to the site saying something to the effect that the Department of Veterans Affairs has asked us not to post pictures containing objects resting on headstones. Out of respect for their position, we will remove pictures taken in National Military Cemeteries containing objects resting on the headstones.

 

Do we "HAVE" to? No. Should we? Yes.

 

Just my opinion,

~J of TeamRJMK~

 

(edited to change "a" to "e" in Cemetery...)

Edited by TeamRJMK
Link to post

I just wish that someone would please take a photograph of my great-uncle's stone, at the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg.

 

Thomas J. Lett of the 27th Indiana Volunteers, Co H., is buried in Section E, #7.

He died from a gunshot wound obtained at Gettysburg.

 

His cousin, John E. Lett, and brother-in-law, Phillip Cox, were in the same unit but survived the war. (Other relatives, including my 2nd great-grandfather also served during that war in other units).

 

The "Hoosier Rangers" saw a good deal of action during the war. The 27th Regiment Indiana Infantry organized and mustered in at Indianapolis, Ind., September 12, 1861. Part of the Army of the Potomac in October of 1863, the unit engaged in several significant operations before the time that my relative died, including operations in District of Upper Potomac and camp at Frederick City, Md., the Shenandoah Valley, occupation of Winchester, Va., the Advance toward Manassas, and the Pursuit of Jackson up the Shenandoah Valley. They took part in the Battle of Winchester, the Battle of Cedar Mountain, and they gaurded trains of the army during battles of Bull Run. After the Maryland Campaign, they took part in the Battle of Antietam in September, and moved Harper's Ferry, W. Va. to provide picket duty from Harper's Ferry to Opequan Creek and duty at Fairfax Station and Stafford Court House till December. They were in the march to Fredericksburg, Va., Burnside's 2nd Campaign, the "Mud March" of January 20-24, 1863, the Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6 and again in the Battle of Chancellorsville May 2-5. Situated at Gettysburg, Pa., from June 11-July 24, my great uncle died on the 2nd of July during the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863).

 

At Antietam, the unit stood its ground in Miller's Cornfield, forcing the 27th Georgia and Colquitt's Brigade to retire. Along with its brigade, it checked the advance of the rebel attack at Chancellorsville, allowing fresh troops to stabilize the line, thus saving the Union forces from total defeat. Its attack at Culp's Hill at Gettysburg confused Ewell into thinking a Union assault was being launched, causing Pickett's attack to be uncoordinated with the rebel left.

 

After my great uncle's death, the unit's service at Resaca, Georgia helped defeat Hood's attack on the vulnerable Union left. In this battle it would capture the colonel, colors, and scores of prisoners from the 38th Alabama an action that led to a member of the unit becoming a medal of honor recipient (Thomas J Box). According to one researcher, the unit never lost a color or a cannon under its care and they were responsible for the accidental (but pivotal) finding of Lee's Lost Orders

 

I personally would be tickled pink to see a photograph of the stone, and the nearby memorial dedicated to the unit as well. I would love to have coordinates for the bural site, in case I ever do get there to visit myself, as well as for my records.

 

Edited for clarity and obvious grammar errors, just because I am a teacher and supposed to know a little bit about those things.

Edited by Team Neos
Link to post

I think that everyone should have the right to visit a cemetary or historial marker to learn information.

 

I think that it must be done with respect to those buried there, and the family of that person.

 

I think that people have headstones, and have the names of the person buried there carved on the headstone so that others will know 'who they are, when they were born, when they died, and any other information added is intended to be read'

 

Do I think that only the family members have that right? No, of course not. Being realistic, headstones have information on them because people expect them to be read. To expect otherwise, would be like wearing a printed T-shirt then being offended when someone asked you about the message on it. Or having personalized license plates, and expecting people not to comment on them...

 

If people don't want the information about the person buried there to be public knowledge, they ensure that the headstone does not provide it. Otherwise, they want people to be able to know, for whatever reason

 

There is nothing wrong with gathering data from a cemetary... and actually, in the initial letter, there was no mention of that.. although Ceips does have issue with it, in one form or another.

 

The truth of the matter is, it's not WHAT people are doing (Waymaking/Geocaching), it's HOW they are doing it (Lying on graves, or spreading items around the grave area, etc.)

 

Just speculating, and I have read much of the documentation on her opinions... it isn't the activity of Geocaching that she really has a problem with, it's how some people are doing it... but she is not looking at other similar groups, like touring companies, are also using cemetaries, regardless of monetary gain (although that to me is worse... but some would argue Groundspeak is a montetary gain generator too).

 

Those people that posted inappropriate pictures at grave sites caused this problem since they ignored commonly held 'polite society rules'. Most of us were taught to not step on a grave, and like others have said... this game can be played in ways that you can accomplish these goals without infracting on people's beliefs.

 

Just be considerate, and informed... that's not too much to ask. For either hobbyists or lobbyists.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

Link to post
<snip>

 

There is nothing wrong with gathering data from a cemetary... and actually, in the initial letter, there was no mention of that.. although Ceips does have issue with it, in one form or another.

 

The truth of the matter is, it's not WHAT people are doing (Waymaking/Geocaching), it's HOW they are doing it (Lying on graves, or spreading items around the grave area, etc.)

 

Just speculating, and I have read much of the documentation on her opinions... it isn't the activity of Geocaching that she really has a problem with, it's how some people are doing it... but she is not looking at other similar groups, like touring companies, are also using cemetaries, regardless of monetary gain (although that to me is worse... but some would argue Groundspeak is a montetary gain generator too).

 

Those people that posted inappropriate pictures at grave sites caused this problem since they ignored commonly held 'polite society rules'. Most of us were taught to not step on a grave, and like others have said... this game can be played in ways that you can accomplish these goals without infracting on people's beliefs.

 

Just be considerate, and informed... that's not too much to ask. For either hobbyists or lobbyists.

 

<_< The Blue Quasar

Just a reminder, this is the Waymarking forum and we are discussing Waymarking not Geocaching. Some comparison is valid. However, trinkets, treasures and the like have nothing to do with Waymarking. So spreading these items over graves isn't an issue here.

 

I also have never read anywhere that "Lying on graves" was required or even suggested on Waymarking. In fact I'm sure that if this ever suggested in a listing that the listing would be deleted as soon at it was discovered. Even thought I'd like to believe that no waymarker would lay on grave. I highly doubt that there is anything that predispositions a waymarker to lay on a grave any more than the general population.

Link to post
If waypoint  pictures can be posted in other topics without the GPS in the picture, why do it in the one topic that upsets a portion of the public because it is such a sensitive issue?  Respecting other people is just as important as respecting the fallen.

Because a GPSr on a headstone is not disrespectful.

And aren't we using US military technology to pinpoint the locations of fallen US military personnel?

Link to post
If waypoint  pictures can be posted in other topics without the GPS in the picture, why do it in the one topic that upsets a portion of the public because it is such a sensitive issue?  Respecting other people is just as important as respecting the fallen.

Because a GPSr on a headstone is not disrespectful.

And aren't we using US military technology to pinpoint the locations of fallen US military personnel?

I don't think that it a good line of thought to follow. There are other US military technologies that if use on headstones are clearly illegal. Unfortunately, some of the people that are opposed to the use of GPS technology don't appear to be focused enough to make the distinction.

Link to post
Glenn said -  Just a reminder, this is the Waymarking forum and we are discussing Waymarking not Geocaching. Some comparison is valid. However, trinkets, treasures and the like have nothing to do with Waymarking. So spreading these items over graves isn't an issue here.

 

I also have never read anywhere that "Lying on graves" was required or even suggested on Waymarking. In fact I'm sure that if this ever suggested in a listing that the listing would be deleted as soon at it was discovered. Even thought I'd like to believe that no waymarker would lay on grave. I highly doubt that there is anything that predispositions a waymarker to lay on a grave any more than the general population.

 

I know that (and have commented in other threads to not try to make Waymarking into Geocaching), and you know that Waymarking does not involve trade items...

 

Does the average non-player know that? How about Veterans Affairs? or Politicians?

 

There have been images on Groundpseak sites of people lying on the ground beside graves, or laying on top of headstones etc.

 

To turn around and say that Waymarking doesn't suggest it, is not enough to prevent people from doing it. I'm not saying everyone or even most people do these kinds of things. I am saying that a few people have posted images like those mentioned where they took the contents of a Geocache and spread them around and took a picuture while at a grave. I don't recall where I saw the image, but I know of one image where a father took a picture of his kid lying on top of a national site regarding the Underground Railroad in a cemetary. People take picutes at headstones, most are innocent, but some raise eyebrows.

 

Then to expect civilians to know the difference between Groundspeak-Geocaches and Groundspeak-Waymarking is really stretching the limits. Especially since Geocachers have in rare cases shown themselves to be insensitive to respecting grave sites.

 

I don't agree with the entire Groundspeak community being labelled guilty because of these few people that didn't think first, but expecting politicians to differentiate between Waymarking and Geocaching is like asking asking a five year old to differentiate between a Protestant and a Catholic. Sure, a few might know, most won't.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

Link to post
<snip>

 

Then to expect civilians to know the difference between Groundspeak-Geocaches and Groundspeak-Waymarking is really stretching the limits.  Especially since Geocachers have in rare cases shown themselves to be insensitive to respecting grave sites.

 

I don't agree with the entire Groundspeak community being labelled guilty because of these few people that didn't think first, but expecting politicians to differentiate between Waymarking and Geocaching is like asking asking a five year old to differentiate between a Protestant and a Catholic.  Sure, a few might know, most won't.

 

<snip>

I know people who abhor smoking but think nothing of buying Kool-Aid, Kraft Macaroni and cheese, Post Cereals, Splenda, or Oscar Mayer meats. What do all these products have in common? They are owned by the same company that makes Marlboro cigarettes.

 

I feel that a majority of politicians are completely out of touch with the non-baby boomer generations. But I also think it is possible to get them to understand that Waymarking and Geocaching are not the same thing, even though the websites are both run by the same company. It just takes a little education and willingness on their part, although some young blood in their ranks wouldn't hurt either.

 

 

Edit: reworded to prevent confusion.

Edited by Glenn
Link to post

Totally agree with you Glenn. I hope that the politicians and others in similar positions allow themselves, and those would seek to help them understand, the opportunity to do so.

 

That's what we have gone through here for the last year, and it worked to an extent... we'll see in the future to what degree. I only hope both groups are willing to be open to how the other side perceives the issues and willing to create together.

 

:D The Blue Quasar

Link to post
My in-laws have land in South Carolina but I don't reside there nor have a vote. Otherwise I'd probably get a house in her district and run against her :D

 

What we can do is influence our own representatives. It's how our government works.

 

Honestly I wouldn't mind some real journalist to look into this. The manipulative nature of this legislation really has some good journalistic legs.

so when is J going to run for US prez? i'd vote for him.

 

so then, the thing to ask ourselves is, why have burial grounds that no one can visit? If no one is allow to visit them, then we should stop creating them.

 

what about a recycling plant, like in the movie "waterworld"?

 

see these resting places.....

Confederate Dead - GHM

Nachoochee Indian Mound - GHM - note you can't get close to this one, but there is a pull off for it.....

Oconee Hill Cemetery - GHM

Old Athens Cemetery - GHM - this is in the middle of UGA campus......

The Signer's Monument - GHM - We actually drive over them, hows that happen?

 

if she desires to take on this sort of legislation, only in SC would it stand. It takes too many mini-bottles to figure it out......

Link to post
I don't agree with the entire Groundspeak community being labelled guilty because of these few people that didn't think first, but expecting politicians to differentiate between Waymarking and Geocaching is like asking asking a five year old to differentiate between a Protestant and a Catholic. Sure, a few might know, most won't.

And I don't agree that a person laying on a grave with a GPS in his or her hand should be fined or jailed, while someone else wouldn't. I also don't agree with creating new laws when old laws work just fine.

 

However I do know the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic so maybe my observations are, hmm... what is the opposite of naive?

Link to post

×
×
  • Create New...