Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

Nation’s Oldest City Is Truly A Veteran’s City

See also

By Michael Isam

More Photos

St. Augustine, Fla, (January 18, 2014) – Veterans do as veterans learned. Carry out the objective as quickly and completely as possible, with as few casualties as possible.

In this case, the objective was to remove the wreaths decorating the 1218 graves in the St. Augustine National Cemetery. The wreaths were placed in a solemn ceremony on December 14, 2013 as part of the annual ‘Wreaths Across America’ project.

More than 30 people, veterans and civilian, took on the task in daunting atypical Florida weather. The wind-chill factor read 31 degrees. Casualty rate: zero.

Broom and rake handles, rope, and a metal pipe or two were the implements of choice. One disabled veteran used his cane. Overall, the most popular was the forearm. In the typical efficient military fashion, the job was done in less than 45 minutes versus the hour-plus to disburse them. The dumpsters on the side street filled in short time and the remaining wreaths were stacked in typical neat-nick military fashion.

Of the 1218 graves in the St. Augustine National Cemetery, one grave stood out. The grave was specially adorned with a Teddy Bear and flower decoration. What made it special among the rest? The person interred was 10 years-old when they passed.

When asked about the future of the Teddy Bear, St. Augustine National Cemetery grounds-keeper, Roy Bartell said, “It will stay there until I remove it.” “Every year, around the birthday of the person interred,” said Bartell, “a flower arrangement and a toy appear.” “I leave it until I feel compelled to remove it,” continued Bartell, “someone feels very strongly about people interred here and I do what I can to help keep the memory last.”



  • Obama's Asia trip
    President Obama arrives in Asia, though he's not necessarily getting a warm welcome
    Watch Video
  • Ferry survivors deal with guilt
    The few heroes of the Korean ferry disaster deal with unimaginable survivor's guilt
    World News
  • Biden in Ukraine
    Vice President Biden urges Moscow to avoid further unrest in Ukraine
  • Pujols hits 500th home run
    Albert Pujols becomes the latest player to hit 500 home runs in his career
  • North Korean nuclear test?
    South Korea detects another possible nuclear test from North Korea
  • NYPD's Twitter campaign backfires
    NYPD's campaign designed to amicably engage New Yorkers and cops backfires horribly
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!