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Cemetery caches


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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

 

I doubt that there is any vandalism going on while the geocachers are there. Vandals probably consider us to be their "muggles".

 

I love cemetery caches. I'm sure the deceased, if they could see us, would be glad to see the living having a good time, and would appreciate our company.

 

There is appropriate and inappropriate behavior for anybody in a cemetery. Anybody that goes running around, whooping and yelling while there are other visitors present is inappropriate, whether they are geocaching or anything else.

Edited by knowschad
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I prefer cemetery caches in pioneer cemeteries or very old sections of still used cemeteries. I'm likely to just pass a cache in/near a cemetery up if it doesn't look like there were any really old head stones in it. Otherwise I will tend to spend a lot of time in cemeteries just taking pictures regardless of if I have relatives buried there or not.

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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

 

If it really upsets you, you could always E-mail the CO to move it away from your parent's/Grandparents grave. If that doesn't work E-mail your local reviewer. If your E-mail to the reviewer doesn't work bring it up with the graveyard staff, they will surely would not want it there if it's upsetting locals (you). If that doesn't work bring it to the State level.

 

I know it seems obsessive, but honestly, I wouldn't want a Geocache at my parent's/grandparent's grave. If it was someone elses grave then I would find it and wouldn't tell anyone as it is there decision whether they want people at their relative's gravesite... E.G. if they see people there and don't want it they will ask for it to be archived too.

 

You probably won't need to go past a CO E-mail, but if you feel as strongly against people caching on your parent's grave as you seem to be in your post, then you need to go above that.

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I think appropriateness of a cemetery cache depends how the cache is hidden. Personally, I'm a fan of Offset caches that make you find an interesting grave(s) in the cemetery then give you coordinates for a physical cache nearby but outside the cemetery itself. That way everyone wins.

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I have a cache at the local rural cemetery it is the last stage of a multi and is at the graves of murderers which was the last hanging in New Mexico.

 

As the cemetery is not very well maintained, part of the description asks for cache in trash out.

 

As for myself, I will be buried there and am planning on turning my tombstone into a cache.

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Yeah, I have a problem too with a cache being placed on a gravesite. As noobies all except one of our first finds were in cemeteries, but they were all away from graves. Shouldn't that be considered the most private of private property?

 

I agree that it shouldn't be on a gravesite, in a cemetery sure, but pick a tree or shrub or rock off to the edges. There is one cache that I have done where you had to visit the gravesite, but it was fantastic and it was really not outside the wishes of the "owner"! GCHM4W - The Talented Mr.Bean

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Cemetery caches are banned in South Carolina. In 2005 Representative Ceips complained that cachers were destroying cemeteries and proposed a bill that would outlaw geocaching in cemeteries... after much hoopla, a group of cachers and the S.C. government came to an agreement that all cemetery caches are to be removed and no future caches can be placed in cemeteries in S.C. It's not an actual law, although most cachers here believe it is! Personally, I believe the whole thing is ridiculous. Some of the best and most memorable caches I've done have been in cemeteries (in other States, of course!!)

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Cemetery caches can be respectfully well done...or not.

I have found more than a few caches in cemeteries, and most of them were of the former variety.

 

As previously stated, I would rather have a bunch of kids whooping it up at my gravesite than have them dressed in black and in somber mourning.

I celebrate my life, and I hope others will do so when I'm gone.

 

Be sure to check my memorial for hidden numbers to the puzzle cache. B)

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As the proud owner of 2 cemetery caches and the proud finder of a hundred or so I can honestly say that I very much enjoy finding them. I've always enjoyed wandering through old cemeteries looking at the old markers and reading the inscriptions and speaking names that might not have been said in 100 years. And in all the time I've spent finding caches in them I've only run into another person maybe 2 or 3 times.

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I think if people take the time to do a little research they will find that the intent of cemetaries was for playing games, picnicking and otherwise spending time with their loved ones. It wasn't until the early part of the 20th century that this seems to have become taboo.

 

I Googled quickly and this was one of the fist things that popped up.

 

http://www.timesleader.com/news/Cemetery_picnic_to_celebrate_tradition_of_1800s_09-13-2010.html

 

I am pretty sure that when I die, the vessel that was my body will be unaware of what is happening and should it somehow be, I will enjoy your company and possible amusing frustrations of a nearby dnf.

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I have enjoyed quite a few geocaches on old cemeteries. Even around the tristate border of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. They have some nice cache series out there called "I'll sleep when I'm dead, Walking With The Dead, Indiana Spirit Quest and Ohio Spirit Quest". But every of these caches were a good distance away from any grave site. I also owned two caches near cemeteries but I hid them outside. All I can say is that I love to stroll around old cemeteries and geocaching is a good way to find some of the old cemeteries off the beaten path.

King Hubi

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I prefer cemetery caches in pioneer cemeteries or very old sections of still used cemeteries. I'm likely to just pass a cache in/near a cemetery up if it doesn't look like there were any really old head stones in it. Otherwise I will tend to spend a lot of time in cemeteries just taking pictures regardless of if I have relatives buried there or not.

 

I especially like the old pioneer cemeteries for their peacefulness and history. I'm finding the new cemeteries fascinating too. I'm particularly interested in the evolution of headstones. In the 80s I started noticing small photos embedded into tombstones - I thought those were a great way to connect. Lately laser etched stones are becoming quite popular and tell more of a story about the deceased with portraits and images depicting something about what was meaningful in their lives. And recently I've been noticing some beautiful pieces of modern sculpture as headstones. Cemeteries are really quite culturally fascinating. I love that geocaching introduces me to so many interesting cemeteries.

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I think if people take the time to do a little research they will find that the intent of cemetaries was for playing games, picnicking and otherwise spending time with their loved ones. It wasn't until the early part of the 20th century that this seems to have become taboo.

 

That is true for some cultures and religions and wrong for others. The intent of Catholic cemetaries never ever has been playing games. I do not think, however, that just walking around a graveyard is a real problem. As I mentioned before, I do not think however that it is appropriate to open lanterns to check whether one of the candles is an artificial one.

 

Cezanne

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I think if people take the time to do a little research they will find that the intent of cemetaries was for playing games, picnicking and otherwise spending time with their loved ones. It wasn't until the early part of the 20th century that this seems to have become taboo.

 

I Googled quickly and this was one of the fist things that popped up.

 

http://www.timesleader.com/news/Cemetery_picnic_to_celebrate_tradition_of_1800s_09-13-2010.html

 

I am pretty sure that when I die, the vessel that was my body will be unaware of what is happening and should it somehow be, I will enjoy your company and possible amusing frustrations of a nearby dnf.

 

that has nothing to do with the purpose of the cemeteries(coming from the greek term meaning "sleeping place"), it has to do with how each culture performs their ceremonies or rites

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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

 

If it really upsets you, you could always E-mail the CO to move it away from your parent's/Grandparents grave. If that doesn't work E-mail your local reviewer. If your E-mail to the reviewer doesn't work bring it up with the graveyard staff, they will surely would not want it there if it's upsetting locals (you). If that doesn't work bring it to the State level.

 

I know it seems obsessive, but honestly, I wouldn't want a Geocache at my parent's/grandparent's grave. If it was someone elses grave then I would find it and wouldn't tell anyone as it is there decision whether they want people at their relative's gravesite... E.G. if they see people there and don't want it they will ask for it to be archived too.

 

You probably won't need to go past a CO E-mail, but if you feel as strongly against people caching on your parent's grave as you seem to be in your post, then you need to go above that.

 

Where in the OP does it say that the cache was anywhere near to the graves? He merely said it was in the same cemetery.

Just like any other location for caches, there are well thought out and not so well thought out placements. As long as one doesn't need to walk over the actual grave sites or stones to access the cache there isn't anything wrong with them.

The chances that the vandalism is from geocachers is very slim. More likely it is from bored youts, who won't do anything wrong if someone is around. So the presence of a cacher might actually deter their poor behavior.

 

I enjoy cemetery caches, they are generally peaceful places that can share some history about the location.

While I was at A Call to Arms I noticed that many of the headstones had the same name as someone I have done a good bit of business with, and have become friends with. I mentioned this to her the next time we met. Turns out that her parents moved away from that rural part of the state when they were starting their family. But those were her ancestors, and she never knew about this cemetery before I mentioned it to her.

 

Cemetery caches are illegal in South Carolina so, I don't have any good pictures to share.

Not illegal, but they need absolute permission to be published there. One of your misinformed and misdirected state legislators tried to make it a law a few years back. She and her staff made an amazingly inaccurate presentation to the rest of the House, including pics from graveside caches in other states which were represented at being local. Rumor had it that some developers were hoping to discourage the visitation and knowledge of some old abandoned historical cemeteries so that they wouldn't interfere with their plans were behind her. But those were just rumors. There are several very very long threads on that sorry incident in the archives here.

Edited by wimseyguy
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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

 

If it really upsets you, you could always E-mail the CO to move it away from your parent's/Grandparents grave. If that doesn't work E-mail your local reviewer. If your E-mail to the reviewer doesn't work bring it up with the graveyard staff, they will surely would not want it there if it's upsetting locals (you). If that doesn't work bring it to the State level.

 

I know it seems obsessive, but honestly, I wouldn't want a Geocache at my parent's/grandparent's grave. If it was someone elses grave then I would find it and wouldn't tell anyone as it is there decision whether they want people at their relative's gravesite... E.G. if they see people there and don't want it they will ask for it to be archived too.

 

You probably won't need to go past a CO E-mail, but if you feel as strongly against people caching on your parent's grave as you seem to be in your post, then you need to go above that.

 

Where in the OP does it say that the cache was anywhere near to the graves? He merely said it was in the same cemetery.

Just like any other location for caches, there are well thought out and not so well thought out placements. As long as one doesn't need to walk over the actual grave sites or stones to access the cache there isn't anything wrong with them.

The chances that the vandalism is from geocachers is very slim. More likely it is from bored youts, who won't do anything wrong if someone is around. So the presence of a cacher might actually deter their poor behavior.

 

I enjoy cemetery caches, they are generally peaceful places that can share some history about the location.

While I was at A Call to Arms I noticed that many of the headstones had the same name as someone I have done a good bit of business with, and have become friends with. I mentioned this to her the next time we met. Turns out that her parents moved away from that rural part of the state when they were starting their family. But those were her ancestors, and she never knew about this cemetery before I mentioned it to her.

 

Cemetery caches are illegal in South Carolina so, I don't have any good pictures to share.

Not illegal, but they need absolute permission to be published there. One of your misinformed and misdirected state legislators tried to make it a law a few years back. She and her staff made an amazingly inaccurate presentation to the rest of the House, including pics from graveside caches in other states which were represented at being local. Rumor had it that some developers were hoping to discourage the visitation and knowledge of some old abandoned historical cemeteries so that they wouldn't interfere with their plans were behind her. But those were just rumors. There are several very very long threads on that sorry incident in the archives here.

 

See what I mean by my previous post? Most cachers think that cemetery caching in S.C. is "illegal" and a state law, when it is most certainly not! It's ridiculous. I'm glad I started caching in another state (before I moved back home to S.C.) so I truly know how fun caching can be!!

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I'm headed down to southern Wisconsin for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to a tour of all the country cemeteries near where we are staying. I'll probably be caching all day Saturday and all day Sunday if things work out. WOO HOO!!! And yes I'm bringing my camera to take a bunch of photos.

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I'm headed down to southern Wisconsin for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to a tour of all the country cemeteries near where we are staying. I'll probably be caching all day Saturday and all day Sunday if things work out. WOO HOO!!! And yes I'm bringing my camera to take a bunch of photos.

 

Have fun, Aaron, and for those pictures, here's the link: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=276599&st=0&p=4751958&hl=cemetery&fromsearch=1entry4751958

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I think if people take the time to do a little research they will find that the intent of cemetaries was for playing games, picnicking and otherwise spending time with their loved ones. It wasn't until the early part of the 20th century that this seems to have become taboo.

 

That is true for some cultures and religions and wrong for others. The intent of Catholic cemetaries never ever has been playing games. I do not think, however, that just walking around a graveyard is a real problem. As I mentioned before, I do not think however that it is appropriate to open lanterns to check whether one of the candles is an artificial one.

 

Cezanne

Maybe it's a Michigan thing

Mt. Olivet Cemetery Sunrise Run and Pancake Breakfast, July 10, 2011 (Register here)

Edited by Dinoprophet
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I'm headed down to southern Wisconsin for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to a tour of all the country cemeteries near where we are staying. I'll probably be caching all day Saturday and all day Sunday if things work out. WOO HOO!!! And yes I'm bringing my camera to take a bunch of photos.

 

I really wish there were a 'cemetery' attribute, so I could click that to ignore in my PQs. Today, I discovered a lt of WSQ that I had to put on my 'ignore list' one by one. Royal pain. We need a 'cemetery' attribute!

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I'm headed down to southern Wisconsin for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to a tour of all the country cemeteries near where we are staying. I'll probably be caching all day Saturday and all day Sunday if things work out. WOO HOO!!! And yes I'm bringing my camera to take a bunch of photos.

 

I really wish there were a 'cemetery' attribute, so I could click that to ignore in my PQs. Today, I discovered a lt of WSQ that I had to put on my 'ignore list' one by one. Royal pain. We need a 'cemetery' attribute!

I thought you were headed to Iowa.

 

You really should check out some midwest cemeteries, though. Might be a lot different than your New Jersey ones.

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I really wish there were a 'cemetery' attribute, so I could click that to ignore in my PQs. Today, I discovered a lt of WSQ that I had to put on my 'ignore list' one by one. Royal pain. We need a 'cemetery' attribute!

I thought you were headed to Iowa.

 

You really should check out some midwest cemeteries, though. Might be a lot different than your New Jersey ones.

 

Hah! That'll teach them to let me be the tour guide! Maybe this time, they'll learn!

Finley's EarthCache Extravaganza! Color in states on the map. Mostly driving. Only need a few caches per state. And look for cows. Might even find a The Cheeseheads cache! ON, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA. (Depending if the let me back into Canada...)

(Next year is NS, PEI, Lab, and maybe St Pierre...)

I have absolutely NO interest in cemetery caches. I avoid them like the plague. Maybe it's a difference in cultural/religious upbringing. To me, cemeteries are a place to pay respect to the deceased. Or do research. Respect. Yes. I have found the cemetery where Samuel J. Tilden is buried.

To me, and many like me, hiding a cache in a cemetery, or a multi (take the year he died and multiply by two), is a complete lack of respect for the deceased.

My own feelings (but I am not alone on this). Thanks. We have some very nice, quaint cemeteries in New Jersey. I do not go to cemeteries to play games. That is disrespectful to me.

And that is why I think that a Tombstone attribute should be available. So those who enjoy bothering the dead can get their joy, and those of use who hate cemetery caches can put them on the ignore list. Also would be nice if geocachers could learn to spell 'cemetery', but I know that's asking too much.

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I live in Florida and have been Caching since this past Christmas. I went to Michigan to visit family, and thought I'd take my 9 yr old nephew geocaching, while looking for caches to find we ran across one where my Father and Grandparents are laid to rest. I have mixed feelings about this! First it doesn't seem right to be playing games where loved ones are being laid to rest, and second there has been alot of vandalism at this cemetery in the last couple of years. Why isn't it against the rules to place a geocache in an active cemetery?

 

If you consider it "playing games" then I can understand your discomfort. I look at geocaching as a tool to explore my world and love geocaches that take me to cemeteries because I find them to be fascinating places.

 

If vandalism is an issue, is there a better way of preventing it than having law abiding citizens stop by randomly at all hours?

 

Yes. I have found the cemetery where Samuel J. Tilden is buried.
If a geoache brought me there and enabled me to discover his grave I'd be thrilled.

 

One of my favorite posts on the subject of geocachig in cemeteries came from Flask:

 

back in the days before geocaching i used to hang out in a cemetery near a camp i went to in the summers. i noticed an interesting configuration of two families buried side-by-side in two different rows and wondered if there was a connection.

 

so i made diagrams and took pictures and then i went to the town offices and spent time in the vaults. the clerk was very friendly and the camp counselors were amused.

 

those people have been gone a long time, but if not for me playing among the graves nobody would be thinking of them. i learned everything i could about them: their birth and death dates, their land records, their enlistments, their birth and death certificates. i was able to trace their migration to my state, and the passage of their careers, the town's history, and the evidence of the epidemics that i knew about but hadn't given much thought to. cholera epidemic took every child a family had. young man died in a prison camp in virginia. family all gone.

 

right on the headstones, it says "remember me as you pass by".

 

who will remember if nobody passes by?

 

recently i was at a cache at a place where a soldier was buried where he fell in the course of a long march during the 1812 war. his name is unknown. who visits him? geocachers, mostly.

 

our old cemeteries are full of civil war dead; our state had the highest per capita casualties in that war. entire hill towns died out because the men never came home. some of the bodies were shipped home. few of those graves have visitors these days.

 

at the end of my street there are both union and confederate dead; where i live it is unusual for there to be confederate dead. the mills are gone. the houses have been razed. the road has been thrown up. the trees have grown back.

 

a geocache means people will come to see. they will get to stand on the steps of the old baptist church even thouhgh the steps are all that's left.

 

one day i'll be buried up there. i hope you'll come visit.

Edited by briansnat
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I really wish there were a 'cemetery' attribute, so I could click that to ignore in my PQs. Today, I discovered a lt of WSQ that I had to put on my 'ignore list' one by one. Royal pain. We need a 'cemetery' attribute!

I thought you were headed to Iowa.

 

You really should check out some midwest cemeteries, though. Might be a lot different than your New Jersey ones.

 

Hah! That'll teach them to let me be the tour guide! Maybe this time, they'll learn!

Finley's EarthCache Extravaganza! Color in states on the map. Mostly driving. Only need a few caches per state. And look for cows. Might even find a The Cheeseheads cache! ON, MI, IN, IL, WI, MN, IA. (Depending if the let me back into Canada...)

(Next year is NS, PEI, Lab, and maybe St Pierre...)

I have absolutely NO interest in cemetery caches. I avoid them like the plague. Maybe it's a difference in cultural/religious upbringing. To me, cemeteries are a place to pay respect to the deceased. Or do research. Respect. Yes. I have found the cemetery where Samuel J. Tilden is buried.

To me, and many like me, hiding a cache in a cemetery, or a multi (take the year he died and multiply by two), is a complete lack of respect for the deceased.

My own feelings (but I am not alone on this). Thanks. We have some very nice, quaint cemeteries in New Jersey. I do not go to cemeteries to play games. That is disrespectful to me.

And that is why I think that a Tombstone attribute should be available. So those who enjoy bothering the dead can get their joy, and those of use who hate cemetery caches can put them on the ignore list. Also would be nice if geocachers could learn to spell 'cemetery', but I know that's asking too much.

Hey, the deceased generally are people that loved to have fun when they were alive. Why do we seem to think they like it somber and um... "dead" when they are deceased? That's not to say that I would condone raucous and rampant revelry, but I don't mind bringing a little life into their quiet afterlives. To each his own.

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Personally I don't think enough people go to cemeteries anymore. Caching might be a good way to get people to visit them more often and remember not only those who came before but discover some history as well. As long as it is not on a grave site I think it is a great idea. B)

That's my opinion, too. Cemeteries are amazing places, filled with all sorts of history.

 

Nothing sadder than a abandoned, forgotten cemetery. To me, that is more disrespectful than anything else.

 

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/the-veterans-cemetery-that-america-forgot

 

The veterans' cemetery that America forgot

 

CLARK, Philippines - Walking along the rows of tombstones here offers a glimpse of the wars America has fought and the men and women who waged them.

 

But most of the grave markers have been half-buried for 20 years, and there is little hope that the volcanic ash obscuring names, dates and epitaphs will be cleared any time soon.

 

Clark Veterans Cemetery was consigned to oblivion in 1991, when Mount Pinatubo's gigantic eruption forced the U.S. to abandon the sprawling air base surrounding it.

 

Retired U.S. soldiers, Marines and sailors volunteer to keep watch, relying on donations to try to maintain the grounds, but they lament that they're short on funds to fix things, and that Washington is unwilling to help.

 

"It's the veterans' cemetery that America forgot," Vietnam War veteran and ex-Navy officer Robert Chesko said.

 

Workers at the cemetery north of Manila recently dug to fully expose a gravestone for an Army sergeant who died in World War II in the Philippines.

 

They discovered his wife's name engraved under his and a long-hidden tribute: "Daughter, sister, wife and mother of veterans."

 

It's impossible to say what else remains hidden at the 17-acre (seven-hectare) cemetery.

 

It holds the remains of 8,600 people, including 2,200 American veterans and nearly 700 allied Philippine Scouts who saw battle in conflicts from the early 1900s to the resistance against brutal Japanese occupation troops in WWII.

 

Clark's dead also include military dependents, civilians who worked for the U.S. wartime government and at least 2,139 mostly unidentified soldiers whose marble tombstones are labeled "Unknown."

 

As America marks Independence Day, the veterans caring for the cemetery renewed their calls for Washington to fund and take charge of the work.

 

"People celebrate on the Fourth of July but they forgot the 8,600 who helped make that freedom happen," said former Navy Capt. Dennis Wright, who saw action in Vietnam and is now a business executive.

 

'Nickels and dimes' "We're trying to get the U.S. government to assume responsibility for maintaining the cemetery so we can get it up to standards ... not on nickels and dimes and donations and gifts," said retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Larry Heilhecker, who served as cemetery caretaker for five years until last month.

 

Clark was a U.S. base for nearly a century, and was once the largest American Air Force installation off the U.S. mainland. It served as a key staging area for U.S. forces during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

 

The Clark cemetery, which can accommodate at least 12,000 remains, was developed between 1947 and 1950, when it was used to collect the remains and tombstones from four U.S. military cemeteries as American officials sorted out their dead from WWII and previous wars.

 

An American cemetery at the then Fort McKinley in Manila became the exclusive burial ground for all Americans and allied Philippine Scouts who were killed in WWII combat. The 152-acre (61-hectare) Manila cemetery collected 17,202 dead, the largest number of American casualties interred in one place from the last world war.

 

Now closed to burials, the stunningly landscaped Manila cemetery became one of 24 American burial grounds outside the U.S. mainland.

 

Nearly 125,000 Americans who perished in WWI and WWII and the Mexican War are interred in those U.S.-funded overseas cemeteries, regarded as among the most beautiful war memorials in the world. The overseas burial sites are administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission, or ABMC.

 

Graves date back to 1903 The dead at Clark are not limited to World War II casualties — they date as far back as 1903. Also unlike the Manila cemetery, it continues to accept burials. One U.S. veteran who lives in the area had his son buried here after he was killed in Iraq in 2005. But Clark is not administered by the ABMC.

 

The Air Force managed Clark cemetery from 1947 to 1991, when it abruptly left after nearby Pinatubo roared back to life from a 500-year slumber.

 

Even before the eruption, negotiations with the Philippine government for a new U.S. military lease on Clark had bogged down after nearly a century of presence in the Philippines, according to the veterans.

 

Philippine authorities failed to look after the cemetery. In 1994, American veterans were shocked to find it had become an ash-covered jungle of weeds, overgrown grass and debris. Half of its old steel fence had been looted.

 

Today, a pair of U.S. and Philippine flags flutter in the wind over the graves. A recently restored marble obelisk, pockmarked by World War II gun and artillery fire, venerates the unknown dead. A small sign at a new steel gate ushers in visitors with a tribute to the war dead: "Served with honor."

 

All the improvements came from donations. Wright's company spent $90,000 to construct a new concrete and steel fence and a parking lot and make other improvements. An old veteran, confined to a nursing home in Florida, sent one dollar in a touching act, Heilhecker said.

 

Forlorn Still, the Clark gravesites look forlorn compared to the American cemetery in Manila.

 

A U.S. government decision to take control of the Clark cemetery could shed light on the fate of still-missing Americans, Wright said, citing the case of a U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Hershel Lee Covey, whose name is on a Clark cemetery tombstone that declared him as having died on July 17, 1942 in the Philippines.

 

A check by The Associated Press showed ABMC lists Covey as "missing in action or buried at sea."

 

Dashing the hopes of the American veterans, the ABMC and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which manages 131 U.S. mainland cemeteries through an agency, both said Clark was outside their mandate.

 

"Whether the U.S. government should take on responsibility for maintaining such a foreign, private cemetery is a veterans' benefits issue outside the scope of our authority," ABMC public affairs director Michael Conley told the AP in an e-mailed reply to questions.

 

U.S. Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas, who has visited the Clark cemetery twice, praised the American veterans for looking after the burial grounds, which he said volunteer embassy staff and visiting U.S. sailors have helped clean up.

 

But he said the U.S. Congress only appropriates funds for official cemeteries overseas through the ABMC, Thomas said.

 

Philippine officials have authorized an American veterans' group led by Chesko to manage the Clark cemetery up to 2030, and have said they are open to allowing any U.S. agency to manage it.

 

"Without them, we wouldn't have this freedom now," said Felipe Antonio Remollo, president of the state-run Clark Development Corp., which oversees the former base, now a industrial and commercial hub.

 

'We're getting old' Once developed and possibly turned into a war memorial, the cemetery could draw in tourists, Remollo said.

 

Clark's elderly veterans, some of whom become teary-eyed when reminiscing days with fallen comrades, worry about who will look after the cemetery as their ranks dwindle. Two passed away and were buried last week.

 

"We're getting old. We can feel it in our bones, you know, in mind and everything," said 65-year-old Chesko. He has wondered whether fallen soldiers' sacrifices still matter to young Americans.

 

"What bothers me sometimes is, will they still remember?" Chesko said.

 

The new cemetery caretaker, John Gilbert, said the veterans were not trying to pass the responsibility.

 

"We're proud to do it, don't get me wrong, but we do not have the resources to do it," said Gilbert. They would have no choice if Washington ignores their pleas, he said.

 

"We are not ready to let this cemetery be taken back by the jungle," he said. "If we have to do it ourselves, we will do it. We don't leave our brothers behind."

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I found a few on a short trip to Wisconsin last month. They were all great experiences, and most of the cemetaries were truly beautiful, peaceful places. I made up some of my own "rules" for hunting them, based on how I think I'd feel if I were a muggle visiting a deceased friend or relative. Since all of the places were deserted when I visited, I was able to take my time (I'm a slooow cacher).

 

I'm going to make a point of visiting more the next time I get over there.

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Sometime you may not even realize you are in a cemetery. This park, and by park I mean children's playground, basketball courts, etc., is located in the city where I live. It has a fascinating history. I think it shows that the "somber respect for the dead" idea wasn't always the case.

 

McBurney Park, Kingston Ontario

 

Of course the park is the source for many local ghost stories. I'd love to put a night cache there, but I haven't figured out how to work something out yet.

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Sometime you may not even realize you are in a cemetery. This park, and by park I mean children's playground, basketball courts, etc., is located in the city where I live. It has a fascinating history. I think it shows that the "somber respect for the dead" idea wasn't always the case.

 

McBurney Park, Kingston Ontario

 

Of course the park is the source for many local ghost stories. I'd love to put a night cache there, but I haven't figured out how to work something out yet.

Yeah, when we visited Philadelphia, I was surprised to see a couple city parks that were built over cemeteries. Who knows how many people we were walking over, and children were playing on? I'm not big about the respect of the dead angle, because in my opinion they're dead and gone. But it made me a bit sad that they were all just under there with no markers and nothing to remember them by.

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While the whole idea is to be respectful, for ANY reason entering a cemetery, I understand the concerns of those against the idea..

 

Some of the cemetery caches I've done, were multies which involved obtaining the dates from the gravestones at the coordinates, to find the final.

 

Mind you Some cemeteries ARE Private Property, and clearly marked as such. (I know of one such cemetery close by, with plenty of signs.)

 

As long as the final cache is on the outskirts (perimeter) of the cemetery, there should be no problem.. Trees, as long as they're not damaged, or require climbing (Okay, One where you needed a BIG Stick to unhook it from up in a tree, would be an exception.) could be in the central area.

 

The risk, however, is the possibility of bumping into a headstone, and let's face it, Red Sandstone is (a) Brittle and (B) Ancient!

 

 

It may seem a superstition, but I ALWAYS ask permission of the residents, though not loudly, before entering a cemetery.. You never know, one might actually guide you to the GZ. (yes, I know it sounds sarcastic, but I AM serious!)

 

Stephen (gelfling6)

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This has been, and continues to be a hot topic in geocaching, apparently...my personal experience has been that geocaching, and cemetery visits have led to respectful and memorable visits to historical and thought-provoking encounters; the opportunity to reflect upon the life of pioneers in our country is exactly the kind of remembrance our forefathers would appreciate.

 

My problem with cemetery caches is the extreme capriciousness and inconsistency with which they are administered by the reviewers.....

 

I think most if us agree that a well-placed cemetery cache that brings you respectfully to a cemetery...where you are seeking in and around a tree or shrub or fence...where you also have time to appreciate the serenity and beauty and tradition of the place...that is probable what cache hiding and seeking is all about.

 

Some reviewers, see fit to actually allow caches to be placed on actual headstones. I will specifically call-out the moderating Keystone in this regard. That is absolutely out-of-bounds and unallowable in my opinion. The problem is...even though a geocaching family or individual may actually enjoy allowing their funereal accoutrements to be involved in this pursuit...myself included perhaps...the fact that headstones and personal memorials become "in-bounds" means that uninvolved and potentially disapproving families and family members may be subject to disturbment. The fact that Keystone approves these type of caches at the expense of caches that diligently try to avoid this type of exposure is even more egregious.

 

Although I suspect that no one who caches in his reviewing area would be surprised by this...inconsistency...

 

 

 

Just my 2 cents...

Edited by coleminers
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