Saturday, September 16, 2006

American Cemetary (?)

So, looking to find my way to the "Statue Park" outside of town, I find this bit on the English map in the same quadrant as the Park: "American Cemetary". I had to go. So I asked the concierge, and he called and told the taxi-driver. This took some time. We drove around the place, through the neighborhood asking the locals, and noone seemed to know about it. So I walked down the Highway, and found this unmistakeable sign on the wall outside.

Here's part of the gate, which was chained and locked. I eventually found a way in, (over the eight-ft. walls).

This is the Centerpiece, where the path in the previous picture leads. There are some very old wreaths laid here, (6 mos. old? 12 mos. old? Older?) with Hungarian colors and messages in that ancient language. I took loads of pictures - far too many to post here, but to the left of this is a large Christian cross, more wreaths, and three flagpoles. (Perhaps the ACLU found out about it - and thats why its disused and pad-locked now).

This is the view looking down the length of the centerpiece, and slightly away at an angle. Flower-pots, terraced rows, a statue of a Saint with a latin inscription - but where are the grave-stones(!!!???) markers, crosses, stars of David? (again, I'm thinking the tentacles of the ACLU) Who fought here? Who was buried here? Were they ever buried here? Budapest was "liberated" by the Red Army, to the best of my recollection, but the markings on the gate clearly state 1941-1945. Were these OSS guys? Downed bomber crews? US-naturalized Hungarian spies sent back in? The mind reels . . . . I have yet to discover the truth.

The place was overgrown, well-over ankle-high, as my sneaks here illustrate. If it had to be overgrown, there couldn't have been a prettier variety of flora - pinks, reds, purples and yellows. In this patch, you can see the clover (that I identified so closely with in my youth - forever foraging for a four-leafed specimen in my Nanny's back yard).

If you spot one in this pick you win the Grand Prize. A souvenir from Iraq.

Your choice, lamb's blood from halal-butcher mixed with fetid Baghdad open sewage running through any street - or a severed head. Both HAZMAT wrapped, and delivered to your door by a guy called "Achmed". We will bear the postage fees.

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