Gravestones For Those Who Served

The Green-Wood Historic Fund’s Civil War Project began in May, 2003. Since then, volunteers have obtained more than 2,000 gravestones for veterans who lie in unmarked graves. More than 1,300 of those gravestones have so far been installed by cemetery workers across Green-Wood’s grounds.

For Memorial Day, 2007, 1,300 granite gravestones, obtained from the Veterans Administration, were laid out in the Meadow at the entrance to Green-Wood. Most of these have since been installed at the graves of the veteran for whom they were requested.
The veterans administration offers a variety of monuments: flat bronze, marble, or granite, upright marble or granite, and bronze niche plaques. In the early 1900s, many marble uprights were put out at Green-Wood. Having seen how much they have deteriorated in the century since, through exposure to acid rain, so that many are barely readable today, we have avoided marble and have chosen either upright granite gravestones or flat bronze plaques that we have mounted on granite bases.

This is Green-Wood's Civil War Soldiers' Lot, where 127 Civil War veterans are interred. The gray granite gravestones, each with a black shield, were installed in early 2007.

Nevertheless, marble remains a popular choice for memorials. This CBS News video reports on the work of Granite Industries in Vermont, which produces 25,000-27,000 veterans’ gravestones every year. What I found particularly interesting here was that, according to the spokesman for Granite Industries, they save their best marble for these veterans gravestones, to honor their service.

Packing up marble veterans' gravestones at Granite Industries in Vermont for shipment.

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