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When do we stop caring

for people in cemeteries?

If you turn off of Mount Olive Road onto East Tahlequah, you will see a small cemetery on the corner of Siloam Place.

On the other side of that street stands a monument with several headstones in a circle. My wife and I stopped one day to look at the old headstones, and it just happened that Duck Cundiff and another guy were placing flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day. He told us the headstones had been taken from the graves back in the 1970s by the city, because the cemetery looked so bad, and the bodies were never moved. Some concerned citizens from the Jaycees and the Hico Cemetery Association went and salvaged what headstones they could, and put up this monument.

I love history and so I looked into what I could find about this old forgotten place. There is a list of 140 graves but not all the names of who are there.

I found some biographies: Simon Sager was thought to be the first white man to settle this part of Benton County and build a cabin between 1835 and 1840. John V. Hargrove, a resident of Hico, had a survey made and laid out Siloam City, incorporated in 1881 with a population of over 2,000. One resident hanged himself in his front yard using a chain; he had been suffering from ill health and had a hard time dealing with the death of a young man by his son the previous spring. One of the graves belongs to a veteran of the Mexican War, and another to a veteran of the Civil War.

What bothers me is the way a group of city officials can just about wipe out a whole cemetery of memorials overnight instead of trying to preserve what they had, and now a new bunch comes in and decides it's alright to put a concrete walk through the cemetery. We have cemeteries so the dead will never be forgotten and put monuments over their graves so we will know where their mortal remains rest. A cemetery is supposed to be consecrated ground, a testament to those who have lived and died before us. Twice these grounds have been desecrated by the very people who were given charge to protect it.

According to what I could find, the first recorded burial was in 1857 and the last in 1912.

At what point after someone is buried is it all right to quit caring? Memorial markers paid for by their families and friends were taken down. There is no one alive who heard them speak a word aloud. If the markers are taken down and the land is given a park-like setting, does that make it right?

Most people have watched that old movie "Poltergeist. In the end they found out the cemetery they built the houses on still had bodies in the ground. They just moved the headstones. That was considered scary, but to me the scary part is it happened for real here and just a few people care.

Bobby Rogers

Siloam Springs

Shame on the critics

of decorated soldier

Lt. Col. Vindman, an active Army officer, exemplifies the oath taken by all members of the military, i.e., the Military Code of Justice. ... This patriot not only survived an IED in Iraq, earning a Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge, but in his testimony to a congressional committee, gave his core soul again to defend his country. Then immediately, the Trumpist Republicans and Fox News put their spin on the facts to slam and defame this decorated Army officer since he once was an immigrant, as a child 3 years old, from Ukraine (and) Jewish.

However, I still feel there are a number of "real Republicans" left in this great country who say shame on them. Those in Congress, and the president, are under oath just like Lt. Col. Vindman. It is time Congress and the Senate review the actual facts and gives justice to those who have violated their oaths under the Constitution.

George Rowland


Commentary on 11/11/2019

Print Headline: NWA Letters to the Editor

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