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San Francisco National Cemetery

San Francisco National Cemetery

San Francisco National Cemetery is one of only three cemeteries located within the city of San Francisco (according to Wikipedia), as the result of an ordinance passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1902 to prohibit further burials within the city. The other two are the Columbarium of San Francisco and the historic graveyard of Mission Dolores (Mission San Francisco de Asís). The San Francisco National Cemetery is a U.S. National Cemetery and is located on the Presidio. The Wikipedia article about the cemetery contains much information about the Presidio as well. The name and location of the cemetery often cause confusion with the Golden Gate National Cemetery, which is located south of San Francisco.

(Note added July 25, 2009: I should add that, in the photo above, I was standing in roughly the upper 2/3 of the cemetery, not at the “top.” On my Web site, I have other photos taken while turned away from the Bay, with light fog drifting over the upper part of the cemetery.)

On December 12, 1884, the War Department designated 9 acres (3.6 ha) in the Presidio as San Francisco National Cemetery. The area included the site of the old post cemetery. The cemetery was the first National Cemetery on the West Coast. Initial burials included reburials from the post cemetery and from forts and camps throughout the West and up and down the West Coast. In 1934, all unknown remains were disinterred and reinterred in one plot. Many soldiers and sailors who died while serving in the Pacific Theater are interred in the cemetery.

Monuments and memorials (1, 2) in the cemetery include a memorial to the Grand Army of the Republic (1893), The Pacific Garrison Memorial (1897), a monument to the Marines who died at the Tartar Wall in Beijing, China (1900), and a monument to the Unknown Dead (1934). The day that we visited, there was a flag honoring Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW-MIA) flying in the stiff breeze.

The Wikipedia article about the cemetery also has an extensive list (with grave locations) of the Medal of Honor recipients who are buried in the cemetery.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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