May 18, 2014

Grand Rapids Veterans' Home Cemtery

I finally made it to Grand Rapids (just over 2 hours away on a good traffic / construction day) last weekend.  Miss Angela had her Regional dance competition and they got done early on Sunday, so we visited both Holland to see the Tulip Festival and the Veterans' Home Cemetery.  We drove home in some nasty storms on Monday morning. 

btw - they did awesome at Regionals - every single dance scored high enough to move onto Nationals in July! They totally kicked some booty & took names!  

First we passed the actual Veterans' home.  From what I gathered from sites such as and, this is a combination senior housing / nursing home for Michigan veterans that was established for Civil War vets in 1886 and is still going strong. 
 This flag was ginormous!  Easily 30x60 feet, hanging between some trees. 
There is a similar arch and requisite flags visible from the other side of the cemetery, along I-96.  That, of course, is what caught my attention!  This one is directly across from the Home itself and has a lovely bridge over a pond. 

It was tough to navigate this cemetery.  The roads only fit one car and have curbs so I'm glad no one else was there.  And there was no parking.  I had to wind around til I found the caretaker's building and parked in their driveway. 
Nowhere on this statue did it say who this was.  
I did some poking around on the Interwebz and found nothing, even though there were several high-ranking Civil War officers from the area.  
He appears to be a generic Union solider (officer?), with his cover removed and head bowed. 
 If you cross the bridge from the archway, this is what you see. 
"Dedicated to the Memory of Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in 
World War II"  
 All of the stones faced west.  
 So if you are walking from the back of the cemetery to the front, you'll see the names of some wives.  According to the MiGenWeb site..."Burials are restricted to veterans and their widows who were residents of the nursing home.  If the widow was never a resident of the nursing home she can only be buried there if she is cremated and interred in her husband's grave."  

I'm mildly offended by this.  In my family. I  am the veteran, Randy never served in the military.  You can't claim it's an old ruling, since Miss Betha here was listed on the back of the stone.   Guess its a good thing I don't plan to take up residence in the home!

Also from this angle, you can see stones that are obviously a pale brown color - 
they belong to women. 
With very simple stamped epitaphs. 
There was a section toward the back of flush stones.  

The stones were really interesting.  Most were of the standard white marble of similar sizes.  Some that I assume were from the Civil War just had their regiment and company. No dates. 
I was in the Navy, so I found myself looking for fellow sailors. 

 One of the fancier female's stones 
I really wish I'd seen this from FindAGrave before I went...
this would have been really awesome!  I love how they have him listed as a famous person!
and of course, I had to get a picture of my company!


  1. Cool!
    Have you been to Arlington?

    1. No, I haven't been, but I really want to go! I could spend days in a place like that!!

      Michigan has a national cemetery, too. It's not even an hour trip away, so I'll make it there one weekend.


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