Merchant Cemetery

Just outside of Fort Stanton, New Mexico, in a somewhat grassy field, lies a small cemetery. It is like most such cemeteries, and tells the story of those who lie at rest here.

Unlike others, however, this is a Merchant Marine cemetery, although there are many veterans from all branches of the service here. Although not a formal military cemetery, it is nonetheless accorded the due respect that it deserves. Row after row, column after column of white crosses stand in mute testimony to those brave men and women who severed in a combat role during World War II. Although the merchant marines were, technically, not supposed to be in active combat, it was a confusing time and everyone had to do their part.

Those who rest here are not forgotten, either. Coins rest on many of the crosses’ arms, tribute from one comrade to another, letting them know that they had a visitor who knew, and remembered, them.

Let us pause, too, to pay our respects and tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms today. Thank you. You are remembered. And you always will be.

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