San Diego

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery Grave Sites Damaged When Tree Falls

A falling tree damaged several grave sites at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, the cemetery's assistant director confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego. 

"We had numerous tree limb down and debris all over the cemetery and of course this big tree here that was down, which was a total shock to me," Michael Munnerlyn, Assistant Director at Rosecrans Cemetery said.

A 50 foot tall tree, four to five foot in diameter, fell and disrupted some grave sites at the federal military cemetery's Section H. A winter storm passing through San Diego Sunday brought wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. 

At around 100 years old it was one of the oldest  in the cemetery.

"There was no indication there was anything wrong with the tree," he said.

Fourteen graves were damaged according to Munnerlym.

One grave site's vault was damaged and one urn was exposed but not damaged in the northeast corner of the cemetery. Seven flat markers containing urns were uprooted. 

Grave sites are still being assessed for more damage and so far, no remains have been discovered damaged. 

Tatiana Anderson, a volunteer who photographs graves for families who live overseas said the damage is personal for her.

She said it's important "to make it right, to fix it, to make sure everything's restored to its beauty how it's supposed to be. For all our family members of the deceased who are buried here...they can revisit and find it in pristine condition."

Contractors are scheduled to come out and remove the tree, hopefully by the end of Monday, said Munnerlyn. 

Families of the damaged sites will be notified as soon as the damage is assessed. Families will not face costs for the damages. 

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