Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is a beautiful, yet solemn, place that bears the remains of America’s military men and women and their loved ones amid immaculate emerald lawns and white and gray headstones, plaques and walls. The cemetery overlooks North Island and the San Diego skyline from windswept Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument.

The week before Christmas, the cemetery was filled with wreaths, poinsettia plants and miniature Christmas trees left in tribute to those at rest there.

Sadly, Fort Rosecrans is busy. There are funerals every 20 minutes some days. The cemetery is also getting crowded, with a century separating the births of some of the veterans laid to rest there. The earliest stones we saw marked the resting places of Spanish-American War veterans; the newest interments belong to young men and women born in the 1980s.

On Dec. 23, families, including ours, gathered at the walls, laying flowers, wreaths, toys and other objects; touching the names of loved ones. They will always be missed.

Weaths at Rosecrans
Wreaths grace many of the headstones at Fort Rosecrans.
Christmas tree at Rosecrans
A lone Christmas tree stands among the rows of headstones at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Rosecrans-Poinsettias
Christmas poinsettias and other flowers left in tribute.
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