Updated: Jun 20, 2022
Upon entering the grounds of Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, one is ushered into a hushed, silent reverence. Acres upon acres of gravesites, the resting places of 66,000 souls, give testimony to lives, families, stories, memories and loves. Pushing further into the cemetery complex, you will discover the unmarked, mass graves of some 1100 victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and hundreds more from the 1906 Eden Train Wreck and the 1921 Pueblo flood. In passing through the cemetery, you will discover the signs and symbols of the diverse cultures and traditions of the world which comprise our community. Roselawn is a journey of life through death, a holy ground of reverence and awe.
Some 2,000 burial plots are set aside in a section for military veterans who served their country. Pueblo is known as the Home of Heroes, for the four soldiers born in Pueblo, memorialized at the Convention Center, who were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. They are interred in military cemeteries across the United States. Much less known is a fifth Congressional Medal of Honor recipient interred at Roselawn. A native of Texas, Warren Dockam was the eighth recipient of the newly constituted Medal of Honor, posthumously awarded to him by Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
"Roselawn is a journey of life through death, a holy ground of reverence and awe."
In front of the path leading to the Bishop’s Section of Roselawn lies the gravesite of Monsignor Hugh O’Neill, chaplain to the Third Army US, memorialized by the famous prayer he wrote for General George Patton in the WWII European Theater of Operations. Awarded the bronze star and other medals for service in Normandy, France, Germany and Central Europe, Monsignor/Brigadier General O’Neill quietly finished his days of priestly ministry at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pueblo. So many heroes lie quietly in state, including the “wagon train” sisters who founded St. Mary Corwin Hospital.
At the end of May, when the flowers are blooming, we bring bouquets and our hearts to honor those who have laid down their lives in service to our country. We decorate their graves with flags, we remember their example, and we pray. On Memorial Day we will celebrate the traditional outdoor Mass at the cemetery, in the Bishop’s Section at 10am. We will pray and then bless the graves of the men and women who served our country in the military, and also the graves of religious priests and sisters, who served their country by serving God. You are most welcome to join us.
"At the end of May, when the flowers are blooming, we bring bouquets and our hearts to honor those who have laid down their lives in service to our country."
Pueblo County is the residence of 14,000 veterans, or 11% of the population. The Veterans Administration advocates for veterans, in finding education, employment placement, transitional shelter and financial assistance, and working with homeless veterans. To volunteer, contact Eva at 720-723-3864 or email Vhaechvolsvcs@va.gov.
Additionally, the Mount Carmel Veterans Center of El Paso County has just opened a center in Pueblo. Their impressive record of service to some 12,000 veterans, through 88,000 visits, is now being extended into our community. They offer transitional and employment support, and programs of behavioral health and wellness. Call 719-772-7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to donate or volunteer.
"Pueblo County is the residence of 14,000 veterans, or 11% of the population."
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” With these words of Jesus, let us always remember those who have given their lives in service to our families, our faith and our country. In gratitude for their sacrifice, and holding dear the freedoms which define us, may we also embrace their example of service to others, our country, and to our loving God.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo