Arundel Digest

ARUNDEL DIGEST

April 14, 2004

Assembly bill protects cemetery at Crownsville hospital

The General Assembly has passed a bill that would protect the historic cemetery at Crownsville Hospital Center, even if the hospital closes this year as expected.

The bill would require the state to maintain the cemetery and mark it with a monument. It also bans the state from selling the cemetery and land that allows access to it. Attempts by legislators to prevent the hospital from closing failed, so the facility is expected to be vacated as soon as July 1.

The cemetery sits on a hilly, wooded plot next to Interstate 97 north of Annapolis. From the time Crownsville opened in 1911 as the Hospital for the Negro Insane until about 1953, many of its patients were buried beneath flat, numbered concrete blocks.

Annapolis historian Janice Hayes-Williams and other volunteers have spent the past several months trying to identify the approximately 1,400 nameless bodies interred at the cemetery by examining death records at the state archives in Annapolis. Del. Samuel I. Rosenberg, a Baltimore Democrat, introduced the bill to protect the cemetery.

Joint Chiefs chairman to speak to Navy graduates

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will speak at this year's graduation ceremony at the Naval Academy. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. May 28 in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Since October 2001, Myers has served as head of the Joint Chiefs, the main military adviser to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council. A native of Kansas, Myers graduated from Kansas State University in 1965 and joined the Air Force, where he rose to the position of commander-in-chief of the country's aerospace defense program.

Myers will address the class of 2004 at the end of Commissioning Week, seven days of activities that include garden parties, dances, award ceremonies, a dedication parade and a farewell music festival.

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