Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Documenting a Cemetery Part 2

When I reported on my efforts to document a local cemetery in my area I began with the goal of photographing and documenting approximately 1500 grave sites. The Union Cemetery in Brentwood, California according to one of the caretakers has enough plots for approximately six thousand burial sites. Fortunately for me, he indicates there are probably only 3500 of these plots with someone buried in them.

During one of my visits to the cemetery I noticed a member of the armed forces visiting and paying tribute to someone who obviously held a special attachment to him.

Clearly, I did not want to interfere with his time there but I am a photographer at heart and the moment was worthy of capturing.

It is apropos that I was able to capture this moment because one of the things that struck me about this cemetery was the large number of military headstones located on the property. Every branch of the military is represented from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

I've located practically a headstone for every military conflict except the Civil War. I don't know if that is a matter of California being so far from the conflict in southern states but the fact that headstones from World War I to Viet Nam are well represented. The cemetery is also a good reminder that there were women who fought in America's wars and their remains rest in Union Cemetery.

When I began this project I believe the total of grave sites and headstones already documented amounted to approximately one thousand six hundred and twenty four, but don't quote me! Since that time I've been able to document nine hundred and fifty five memorials and over one thousand and one hundred photographs for my contribution to the Find A Grave website

Hopefully with the numerous projects I've gotten myself involved in I'll be able to document the approximate 500 headstones that remain. If not, I will have made it possible for someone to complete this important work.


  1. It appears that many of those military markers need to be replaced. They can be replaced free of charge through the VA. I wonder if the descendants are aware of that.

  2. Cesar Brunner was my great great grandfather.

    Blossie Bruner-Marquez