Few clues to burial of infants on post six decades ago
Sixty-year-old mystery at Post Cemetery
By Lisa R. Rhodes
More than 100 infants, ages newborn to a few weeks, are buried there, despite the fact that the cemetery is only open to deceased active-duty service members.
The infants were buried between 1950 and 1955, and no one knows why they were interned there.
"It is one of the most frequently asked questions at the museum," said Robert Johnson, director of the Fort Meade Museum. "Everybody who goes to the cemetery sees them."
Johnson, who began working at the museum in 1989, said he has researched possible reasons for the mystery and has come up with no conclusions.
Early on, Johnson looked through old area newspapers from the 1950s in the Baltimore public library system and found no reports of an epidemic or other cause for the infants' deaths at Fort Meade.
No military spouses or military dependents are allowed to be buried in the Post Cemetery, so Johnson said perhaps a kind garrison commander allowed one infant to be buried there and somehow, the others followed.
During the early 1950s, there were several armed cavalry regiments at Fort Meade and the National Security Agency was being established, but no extraordinary or odd events happened on post, Johnson said
Thirty-three German and Italian prisoners of war from World War II are also buried in the cemetery. Many of them did not die at Fort Meade but were buried here because it was a convenient military burial site, Johnson said. It is possible, he said, that the infants actually died elsewhere and were buried here for the same reason.
Johnson said the museum welcomes anyone, preferably a museum volunteer docent, who would like to do further research to solve the mystery of the infants buried on Fort Meade.
To contact the Fort Meade Museum, call 301-677-7054.
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