Captain Burt E. Skeel died while representing the Army Air Service in the International Air Race at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. He crashed in front of spectators when the wings came off his plane. A native of East Cleveland, Ohio, Skeel had served in World War I, starting in the infantry and then transferring to the Air Service, where he remained as a pilot after the war.
Posts Tagged ‘us history’
Posted in Cemeteries, tagged african american, african american history, civil war, gettysburg, history, lincoln cemetery, pennsylvania, soldier, united states colored troops, us history, veteran on May 10, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
I’ll be writing more about this place as I have more time because I picked up a book with the history of the cemetery and a selection of its records, but I wanted to say a few things. Lincoln Cemetery is an African American cemetery in Gettysburg, founded in 1867 due to segregation. It’s a little off the beaten path in Gettysburg, sitting behind the medical center in a much less tourist-visited part of town. The cemetery holds the remains of many of the earliest black residents of Gettysburg (reinterred from another cemetery) and most of the local Civil War veterans who served in the United States Colored Troops.
Like so many sites in the historic town, the cemetery is graced with historical markers explaining its significance, but unfortunately the gates were closed when we went by. All of my photos were taken from outside of the fence.
A few notes before we begin are in order. Sometimes I will use this blog to comment on media that pertains to cemetery research and visiting. Most of these are not likely be full-scale, professional reviews – I’m planning to tell you what I liked and found useful to me as a cemetery visitor, researcher, and blogger. I’ll also let you know if there were any flaws that I noticed.
I just finished reading Marilyn Yalom’s The American Resting Place, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in United States cemeteries. Using a sampling of cemeteries (approximately 250) from across the U.S., Yalom traces uses cemeteries to trace American history, particularly attitudes toward death and dying, shifts in religious sentiment and observances, and the migration of ethnic groups. One of the things I appreciated about Yalom’s work is that she did not pretend to be comprehensive – in the opening pages of the book, she acknowledges that staggering number of cemeteries that dot the United States. The graveyards she highlights are examples of larger trends she wishes to illustrate, but retain their distinct individual eccentricities and personalities. Yalom narrates the book with a passion for cemeteries and a tenderness towards the deceased the cemetery buffs will appreciate and recognize. The photographs, stunning in the starkness of black and white, are the work of her travel companion and son, Reid S. Yalom. They alone are worth the price of the book.