"Remember the Maine! (and everyone else)" Top 5 Page for this destination Key West Travelogue by 850prc
Key West Travel Guide: 2,042 reviews and 4,035 photos
As I punned earlier on my Key West page, there's nothing like a cemetary to literally make history come alive. When we visited the Key West town cemetary, we found a special collection of gravesites for victims of the U.S.S. Maine disaster of February 1, 1898 in Havana harbor. Much in the same fashion as the August 1914 assasination of Archduke Ferndinand in Sarajevo ignited the first world war, the explosion of the Maine ignited hostilities between the United States and Spain on a global basis. By the time the war ended some two years later, the courses of history and the face of the map had changed, with Cuba gaining independence while Puerto Rico and the Phillippines became US possessions. The Phillippines later became independent after World War II, and Puerto Rico is today a "commonwealth territory of the USA".
As for the explosion and destruction of the Maine, it's never been fully established what ACTUALLY happened. War hawks in America immediately blamed Spanish forces for the "unprovoked" attack, thereby paving the way for a Congressional declaration of war. It may have well been that the ship simply had a catastrophic boiler failure coupled with its ammunition magazine. Or on a more sinister note, it could have been destroyed by American agents bent on initiating war with Spain, with the express goal of gaining Caribbean and Pacific territories. As it's been well over 100 years since the tragic event, I suppose we'll never really know for sure.
But as for the living history lesson, the men lying in this patch of the Key West town cemetary were the first casualties in one of the last 19th century wars.
The cemetary plot is not wholly comprised of men who died in Havana harbor on Feb 1, 1898. There are also veterans who served with them on board the Maine, but survived the "Remember the Maine" explosion. As they later perished, some had wished to be interred with their comrades in Key West.
As the saying goes, "known only to God". This is the final resting place of a sailor killed in the Maine Explosion in Havana Harbor. His identity is unknown.
There are other historical graves in the Key West cemetary. By this man's tombstone, I see that he was a member of the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War, serving as a surgeon. He apparently survived the war and was laid to rest in a CSA memorial area after his death years after the war's end.
This simple marker denotes the final resting place of an "unknown CSA soldier". (CSA denotes the Confederate States of America, ie the states in rebellion during the American Civil War)
It's really a shame that God has to keep up with so many unknown victims throughout history, isn't it?
More Travelogues (2)
Written Dec 14, 2009
Waiting out the sunset at Mallory Square
Written Aug 7, 2006
Ernest Hemingway's House
- A very tolerant town
- See All Go all the way. You might as well.
- See All The airport. NOBODY HOME most of the...
- See All The Key West Airport
- See All The most famous bar in Key West
850prc's Related Pages
Key West Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "The Parents of a "Conch""
- "key west florida"
- "Where others have failed, Key West SECEDED"
- "Key West, Florida"
- "Key West Driving Trip May 3-12, 2003"
- "On the road to Key West & Fantasy Fest 2006"
- "The Key to my Heart; Key West, Florida"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Key West
- Hotels in Key West
- Transportation in Key West
- Nightlife in Key West
- Restaurants in Key West
- Shopping in Key West
- Warnings and Dangers in Key West
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Key West
- 41 Reviews
- 98 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 31 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (26)
Have you been to Key West?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Key West
Photos in Key WestSee All Photos (98)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Tallahassee Intro, 97 reviews, 215 photos, 6 travelogues
- New York City Intro, 69 reviews, 199 photos, 8 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bermuda Intro, 67 reviews, 175 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Antarctica Intro, 47 reviews, 182 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Namibia Intro, 61 reviews, 94 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Key West Intro, 41 reviews, 98 photos, 3 travelogues
- India Intro, 32 reviews, 106 photos, 9 travelogues
- Miccosukee Intro, 40 reviews, 81 photos, 4 travelogues
- Germany Intro, 44 reviews, 76 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Kennebunkport Intro, 49 reviews, 64 photos, 2 travelogues