We've been wanting to get over to the base cemetery to walk around for a really long time—tonight was the night. Having grown up visiting multiple cemeteries on an annual basis, I am not at all spooked by such adventures, even when we live in a house that is supposedly haunted. (The way we see it, we haven't had any problems with ghosts because they figured out how much we love our house and are leaving us alone).
The cemetery is very small and has been closed to new burials for a few years. Most of the gravestones in the first section don't include dates, which seems very strange. The variety of people buried here is huge; so many children (1956 and 1963 seem to have been terrible years for child mortality, but I haven't been able to find the reason why yet). We were on the lookout for the grave of a two year old boy who died at Ft. Laramie in the 1800s but was moved to this cemetery, but we didn't locate it tonight. Next time.
...and to me, one of the saddest ones I saw; though I can't imagine the tragedy of losing a baby within the first week of birth, there is something uniquely heartbreaking to me about losing an almost three year old girl. On a happier note, though, I think Flora Alice Pershey would make a wonderful name for my new niece who will be born this month. Yes?
In the back of the cemetery we saw this strange, fenced in area; it turned out to be graves of WWII prisoners of war (one Italian, the rest German) who apparently died in Cheyenne. Their graves are just as well kept as the rest of the cemetery, but the division is clear.
We were so glad we went to see this section last, because we let ourselves out of the cemetery by the side gate and started to walk home across the field when we realized we couldn't cross the creek/drainage ditch or whatever it was. As we stood there for a minute figuring this all out, we caught this:
OH MY GOSH! We all stopped and froze and counted—16 babies total, running at breakneck speed. I took picture after picture, kicking myself that my long lens was 400 yards away at the house; all things considered, though, I am so glad I had a camera at all because I might have kicked myself unconscious had I missed this one entirely.
They stopped just across the creek to stare; mama in front was stamping her foot a little bit and making huffy head gestures, while mama on the side was grabbing a snack. I think we all know which mama that baby on the street belongs to. Ha. After watching for another minute, we headed back home.