Mound City National Cemetery

(Frank) And we’re back. Out of the corner of my eye I see a wasp over there, so I hope it flies on. (Deb) Uh oh. Dog gone it. Every season has its challenges, doesn’t it? It’s like yea, you get the warm and everything’s open and people are out having fun and then you’ve got the dog gone bees and the snakes, all the creepy crawly things and buzzing things. (Frank) Oh well. (Deb) Yea, it’s no Shangri-La. (Frank) Remember, I guess once you get into May then you can do away with your dandelions, but early in the Spring, you do know, don’t do away with your dandelions because that’s the first source of pollen for the bees. Did you know that? (Deb) No, I did not know that. (Frank) I didn’t know that til a couple of weeks ago. (Deb) You know I strongly suspect that one of these days they’ll discover that dandelions are probably the most valuable plant on earth. It will have some miraculous medicinal quality and we’ve been trying to eradicate it as hard as we can go. (Frank) Well you can eat the leaves, you can put it in a salad. (Deb) You can eat the blooms. (Frank) And you can make dandelion wine. (Deb) Yea, oh yea, that’s a redeeming fact right there. (Frank) They’re great stuff. Have you ever taken the top off though and then tasted that white milky stuff? (Deb) Yea, yea. (Frank) Oh it’s nasty. (Deb) Yea and you can paint with them. They used to take the kids out in grade school and just find what ever you could like grass, dandelion blooms, dirt and do pictures and you would learn about the pigment in it and all that, which was really cool. See? (Frank) Anyway, we were off on dandelions. (Deb) The lowly dandelion. (Frank) But I know you want to talk about…we’ve got Memorial Day coming up. (Deb) Right. (Frank) Let’s jump over to that. (Deb) Of course, Memorial Day obviously at the end of the month is a big deal. The Ride for the Fallen of course, will happen again this year. And we’re just so pleased to be supportive of Melissa Jarboe and the Military Veterans Project and all the great things they do. Kansas, as I’ve talked about many times, has a long tradition of veterans and service to our country. And we’ve got several national cemeteries. We want to talk about one of those each week this month and we’re going to start with Mound City. Mound City, of course, a small town in Linn County, has got a beautiful, small-it’s about the size of this yard, a little veteran’s cemetery. It’s just the most picturesque, historic spot, started with men who were killed in action at the Battle of Mine Creek. It’s just a beautiful spot. We strongly encourage you to go visit at least one of those during the month. If you can’t do it on Memorial Weekend, if you’re out of town or whatever, sometime during the month take the kids, especially so that they figure out what it’s all about. Let’s take a look. The first interments were the remains of 30 Union soldiers killed in the Battle of Mine Creek, and thus the corner of Woodland Cemetery in Mound City was set-aside for soldiers. The deed for the soldiers’ lot, measuring only 48 by 158 feet, was not officially transferred until 1874. More than a decade later, the remains of other Union and unknown soldiers buried elsewhere in Linn County were re-interred there. In 1940, laborers of the Works Progress Administration, WPA, a depression-era work relief program, erected an enclosing stonewall and post-and-chain fence around the perimeter of the soldiers’ lot. In 1889, the US erected the Union Soldiers monument, an infantryman carved in granite, to honor the 80 Civil War soldiers who rest here. The stone solider holds his musket and looks to the east. There is an artillery monument as well. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, dozens of soldiers from subsequent wars also rest in this quiet corner of the city cemetery, set aside for heroes. One of the more famous burials is Col. James Montgomery, one of the leading figures in the struggle of Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War.

(Frank) Ok, we have to go. (Deb) Happy May Day! (Frank) Yea, I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we’ll see you somewhere… (Both) Around Kansas.