Heroes final resting place now a dog park
August 16th, 2010 by MOTHAX
A theme of "disrespect for our fallen brothers" seems to be forming here... Last week it was the casino in Gettysburg, now this.
The grave site for an 1860s Army hero awarded the Medal of Honor is now a popular Ventura dog park with poop soiling what veterans say should be sacred ground. "Talk to any veteran, he will tell you it is a terrible thing. It's disrespectful," said retired Marine Sgt. Craig "Gunny" Donor, who served two tours in Vietnam and is bent on getting the soldier's remains moved. Pvt. James Sumner, who was awarded the nation's highest military honor for gallant actions after a band of Apache Indians kidnapped a settler's child, died in 1912 and he was buried in what was then St. Mary's Cemetery.Look, I love me the dog park. My insane puggle Mosby generally goes there once a day, and like his namesake, launches lightening raids on the other poor dogs who want to know why the 28 pound terror is trying to bite their legs. It's one of the best parts of my day, although I try to get out of it as often as possible so I can stay home and watch TV. But, as much as I love a dog park, this is truly UNSAT.
"It's a beautiful memorial park, a different kind of park because living people come to have fun. I would think those buried here would like that," said Jessi Burt, a 24-year-old park neighbor walking her boxer Ally. Others jogging with dogs in the park say pet owners are good about cleaning up after the animals. "The people who use the park are the most reverent, in my opinion. Sometimes, people will come up and pick up my dog's poop before I have a chance," said Beverly Karbum, 58, who was walking her Australian shepherd Roxanne.Fair enough, I can understand that. But maybe we can put a fence around it or something? I don't know, but there must be some middle ground here. Donor wants to move the PVT.
The commission voted July 21 to postpone for two months Donor's request to unearth Sumner. Park commissioners have told Donor they're committed to a long-delayed effort to commemorate the area pioneers and military dead in the park. But Donor, who lives in Fontana and is a state captain for the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle club that honors fallen veterans, isn't convinced. He expects the fight to wind up in court. "He has no family, no one else to stand up for him, except for his brothers and sister in arms," Donor said.He's exactly right on that. We have to look out for our own. As for PVT Sumner:
Army records show Sumner was a 28-year-old immigrant from London who led the 1869 chase after the kidnapped child into a remote canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona. There was an ambush and a fierce firefight, but Sumner held off attackers until reinforcements arrived. Records don't indicate what happened to the child. President Ulysses S. Grant awarded Sumner the Medal of Honor in 1870. Donor believes the medal is buried with him.
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