Downey Cemetery

Dear Editor:As a long time Downey resident, a veteran and a member of the Downey American Legion Post # 270, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the city for its annual participation in the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Downey Cemetery. Downey's continued support of veteran issues in the city is to be commended. Although in my opinion, more still needs to be done to show our respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and provided us the basis of our basic individual freedoms. This should include a Vietnam Veterans memorial, but I digress. I am writing you today because I have a bone to pick with the Downey Cemetery District. As a member of the Downey American Legion post #270 and a disabled veteran, I was appalled to see so many gravesites at the Downey cemetery in need of not only cleaning, but in complete disrepair. It seems that the evening before the Memorial Day ceremony there was a large wind storm and many of the grave markers were covered in leaves, spoiled fruit from nearby homes and just plane trash. That's understandable; our government is not expected to control the weather. That being said, common sense would have dictated that someone from the cemetery board send a grounds keeper or two out to the cemetery the morning of the event and maybe at least use a leaf blower to clean off the grave markers of those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Is this to much to ask? The one and only day that is dedicated to veterans in this great country should be a special day. I was also very surprised to see that one of the veteran's grave sites was actually missing its headstone/grave marker. Is this what the city of Downey has come to? Where grave markers are stolen from veterans grave sites? Common sense once again would have dictated that the Downey Cemetery District request a new head marker from the Veterans Administration with enough time in advance to have it present for this one and only day of remembrance. It's really a shame that those blessed souls who lie on the ground at our city's one and only cemetery are treated with such disdain, both veteran and civilian alike. For every grave site in this cemetery the utmost respect and courtesy should be displayed. We are Downey, a city that once in time prided itself with dignity and respect, a city that was once an island in a sea of surrounding chaos. This esprit de corps should be reflected on a daily basis to all our fare citizens, even to those who have gone on to greener pastures. -- Moises Alonso, American Legion Post 270

********** Published: June 2, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 7