Beach exercise

Beach exercise

Monday, October 17, 2016

Oakwood Annex Cemetery, Montgomery, AL

Last week  we visited our daughter in Montgomery for a few days.  We have been in this area a number of times, mostly just as a stopover on  RV trips.  This time we wanted to check out some of the local attractions and get a feel for the city.  One of the places mentioned on every must see list is the Oakwood Annex Cemetery.  It has attained that status primarily because Hank Williams is buried there.  He gained fame for his country music songs that touched a lot of people.  His short career came to an end when he died before reaching the age of 30 in 1953.  His grave sits on the top of the hill.  There is a also a tombstone for his first wife,  but she choose not to be buried there when she died years later.  The grave site  is covered in Astroturf.  Apparently, they could not keep grass on the site, since visitors would pull of the grass as keepsakes.



While Hank Williams may be the big attraction, the cemetery has a lot of history of its own. Oakwood was started in 1817 and is open to all Montgomery people.  Since Montgomery is the state capitol, there are many prominent people buried here.  We strolled through a section with numerous graves of Confederate soldiers of all ranks.







   

There is a section next to the Williams site with row after row of foreign airmen graves.  These were airmen in training just before and during WWII at Maxwell Air Field.  The training in those days was accelerated to get more planes in the air.  This resulted in many deaths during training and low hour pilots sent to the front often did not last very long, which resulted in a steady demand for more pilots.  It is a sobering sight.




8 comments:

Laura Skjenna said...

only lame puns come to me. Looks like an interesting place to visit.

Gypsy said...

I drove through Montgomery one time pulling my RV, but all I saw along the way were malls and retail establishments. I hadn't intended to stop in that city so didn't look up info about it. I drove from there to Selma, but the area wasn't friendly to a big pickup towing a 34' fifth wheel RV.

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

What a beautiful job they did with the foreign airmen graves. How respectful.

Nickie Jim said...

While Jimmy and I lived in coastal Alabama for a number of years, we never made it a point to stop in Montgomery (tho we drove through it numerous times). Like you, however, we usually visit old cemetery's, and I really have no idea why! There's always something either weird, crazy or sobering to see. In this case, all those airmen's graves just hurt ya to see.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

It is very sobering all the airmen deaths in training during WWII. From what I've read, there were over 15,000 just in the states alone. Makes me glad I chose sea duty instead of flying... ;c)

Sherry said...

I love visiting old cemeteries. Wonder what Hank would think of all the attention he's gotten even to the point of people pulling the grass off his grave for a souvenir. Seems a bit much to me. The rows of airmen's graves are very poignant. So sad how many bright young lives are lost in wars.

Wanderin' said...

I have to admit that I enjoy walking through cemeteries too. Reading the stones can be quite entertaining. It also can be quite educational. Finding the site of Hank Williams' would be a treat too.

Bob and Jo said...

Interesting to walk through old cemeteries, both famous and not so famous.