Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Jordan

Saturday was a bright and crisp day in Baltimore, one of those lovely, sunny autumn days I recall once January and February have set in. 

Realizing that we may not have too many of these beauties left for a while, hubby and I took advantage and decided to accomplish some outdoor "to do" tasks.  Not leaves this time, though!

We traveled to the other side of town and visited Baltimore National Cemetery on Frederick Road in Catonsville, in search of my great-uncle Benny's gravesite. 

This was a fitting way to spend the Saturday of Veteran's Day weekend.  We were humbled and silenced as we stood at the top of entrance driveway and looked down at the rows of erect stones, standing with typical military precision.  All these headstones, each representing a brave person.  Most of these are soldiers who returned home to live their lives, we said in unison.  It was astounding to look around, begin to rack up numbers of soldiers and wars in my many, so many. 

Marker between Sections J and I.
Before we had left home, I double-checked Uncle Benny's section and plot information at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator.  I also printed out a map of the cemetery, which was easy to follow.  Just find the appropriate section marker, then look on the back of any stone; it will be engraved with that individual's site or plot number.  Then just start walking in the right direction, for higher or lower numbers.  

I'll say this for the military, they are excellent when it comes to organizing a cemetery.  

Benjamin M Jordan
Signal Corps
World War II
January 30 1915
September 13 1964
Even though we came prepared, for someone who may not be, the cemetery provides plenty of information, which is available even when the office is closed.  There are two large binders with a listing of interments; these are kept on an enclosed shelf to protect from the elements.  They also have an electronic kiosk that is linked to the Nationwide Gravesite Locator mentioned above.  The kiosk's keyboard was not the typical QWERTY type, but rather an alpha order board - A - B - C and so on.  I'd never seen one like that before.  Still, it was all easy to use.  Maps are also available at the kiosk. 

This was my first visit to Uncle Benny's gravesite.  I know it will not be my last.  Besides fulfilling my own genealogy-related task, this visit pleased my mom.  We stopped by see her after leaving the cemetery.  She was happy to see the photo of Benny's stone, and touched that we thought to visit him.  She is proud of his service.  We sat together quietly, as Mom recalled childhood memories of her beloved Uncle Benny. 

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