April 24, 2018

100 Men … America’s Best

This unique picture was captured by Francois Swart at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery late afternoon,
just as the sun was setting on the grassy hilltop of Point Loma overlooking the bay and city of San Diego,
where this historical cemetery is situated.

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While Francois was busy taking this and other pictures it took him back to the words “100 men … America’s best” in the well-known song by S Sgt. Barry Sadler, “The Balad of The Green Berets.” Francois describes this moment, with the last sun rays setting over the last resting-place of these fine soldiers, as symbolic and overwhelming. This picture is his contribution of honoring these soldiers.

Here follows a brief history of this national monument as published on the official websites of The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, The State California Military Museum and Wikipedia.

The origins of this hillside cemetery dates back to February 1852 when President Fillmore set aside the southern portion of Point Loma, about 1,400 acres, for military purposes (which included the cemetery).

The (then) one acre cemetery was located on the crest of the point and first was used in the 1860’s as a burial-ground for the San Diego Barracks –simply known as “Post Cemetery, San Diego Barracks (Point Loma)”. It became Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in 1934 and was placed under the Veterans Administration National Cemetery System in 1973.

The cemetery is now over forty times that size. Today, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery serves as the final resting place for thousands of veterans of the Armed Forces who answered the call of duty in the nation's service. There are approximately 75,000 veterans lying in Fort Rosecrans who, in the course of four great wars, fought for the cause of freedom.

This cemetery is also a California registered historical landmark, first registered on December 6, 1932.

Jeffrey T. Naas wrote a Memorial Day poem to honor those buried at Fort Rosecrans entitled, “On Rosecrans Hill”.

In honor to these veterans and their families.







Exif Data:

HDR: 7 Images bracketed by 0.7; Focal Length 52 mm; Aperture: f5.6; Metering: Matrix; ISO: 100; Camera: Nikon D2x; Lens: VR 18-200