Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Graves of U.S. Soldiers that Florida may close to the public
This photograph shows the Fort St. Marks Military Cemetery at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park in St. Marks, Florida.
Buried here are soldiers from the 4th and 7th U.S. Infantry Regiments and the 4th U.S. Artillery. They died in the line of duty, primarily from sickness, while garrisoning a fort on this site from 1818 through the early 1820s.
The graves were originally located nearby at a spot that was threatened by development, so the remains were removed and brought here to the state park where they would be preserved and protected.
Now, however, the state of Florida has San Marcos de Apalache on a list of state parks that it may close (temporarily or permanent) because of budget shortfalls.
A closure of the site would, of course, restrict access to and threaten the preservation of the graves of these U.S. soldiers that died here serving their country.
Please email Florida Governor Charlie Crist at Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com to urge him to find alternatives that will allow San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park and a number of other Florida State Parks and historic sites to remain open to the public. There are other areas of the budget that can be cut and creative measures that can be taken to save our Southern history.
If you would like to learn more about this highly significant historic site that dates back more than 300 years, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com and look for the San Marcos de Apalache heading at the top of the main page.