Gloucester Supports Troops?

This email was sent to all Gloucester Council Members today.

Greetings to All,

While the records are still being researched, it appears the the City of Gloucester took possession of Clark Cemetery in approximately 1900.  The deplorable condition of the cemetery can not continue or it will be lost to the families of those buried, but not those that party there.  The last internment was January 15, 1978.  By the way the cemetery looks the city has done nothing since then.  My wife and I are part of a small group of volunteers who work in both Clark and First Parish, and we feel that the city has a moral and financial obligation to restore these locations.  It is distressing to family members (me being one of them) that this final resting place has become a place for vandals and partiers to desecrate the graves of their family and honored veterans.

Hope to hear from you soon on how the city will rectify this unforgivable neglect.

Below is the attachment that went with the email above.

As one arrives in Gloucester on Route 133 you are met with a statement that “Gloucester Supports Our Troops.”  Turning left on to Western Ave, once across the cut bridge there is a long line of flags. It is hard not to drive or walk there and not experience a strong emotion of national pride.  These two locations are what Gloucester wants to represent it self as.  Proud Community that supports the military.  Sadly this is not how Gloucester actually shows respect for it citizens that served and some who died for this nation.

IMG_9568This picture is how the City of Gloucester shows respect, or more correctly the total lack of respect or honor for its Military Veterans. This is the entrance to Clark Cemetery.

IMG_9581 The pictures of Clark Cemetery were taken June 24th, 2016.  That is 24 days after Memorial Day.

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Clark Cemetery has 36 Veterans from the Civil War and at least three Veterans from the Spanish American War. I’m sure the city of Gloucester has more information on the total number of Veterans.  There are veterans’ graves on both sides of that path.  Yes, the City of Gloucester has allowed the cemetery to become unrecognizable as a final resting place of U.S. Veterans.

This image shows that most of the growth is three feet to six feet tall. My forth great grand parents Gorman and Shara Clark and their Civil War Veteran Sons are buried at the far right side of the path.  Their grave are so over grown I do not think I can get to them to repair them, and non of the sons have flags.

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First Parish Burial Ground also has  many veterans buried there.  While the city shows it a bit more respect, it’s not much more.  This image does not accurately depict that the grass is approximately knee high on an adult. The first flag you see was place there by myself.  Family member from the Civil War Navy. From this location if one would look to their right you would see a large number of flags lazily stuck into a pile of rocks.

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The First Parish Burial Ground, established  in1644, is a registered historical place. One would think the City of Gloucester would want to keep this location in the best possible condition.  There has been at least two restoration studies, but the cemetery is still is in very poor condition.  Here is a cemetery in the cradle of our nation that, without a doubt, has Revolutionary War Veterans buried in it.  It is left mostly unattended except for a small group of volunteers and the never ending group of partiers.

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Sadly because of the lack of fencing to close the cemeteries off, these location have been used for partying for many years.  Recently a young woman lost her life in Clark Cemetery.

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I look forward to how the City of Gloucester is going to correct deplorable condition of Clark Cemetery.

 

About Richard Clark

Retired USAF C/HC/MC-130E/H/P/N Flight Engineer, Retired DoDDS ET, Clark's Cemetery staff writer, webmaster, Japanese Knotweed chopper, headstone cleaner, and resetter, barnacle scraper at Essex Shipbuilding Museum.
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