John Richmeier | Leavenworth Times
The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Cemetery on Fort Leavenworth is one of only two in the country to be recognized with what is known as the National Shrine Status, according to a Fort Leavenworth official.
The cemetery is the final resting place for inmates of the USDB whose remains were never claimed by family members.“It’s prisoners only,” said David Linville of the interred.
Linville is a realty specialist in the Directorate of Public Works’ Master Planning Division; he serves as a cemetery responsible official for the USDB Cemetery.The cemetery received the National Shrine Status through the Office of Army Cemeteries, which is headquartered at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Office of Army Cemeteries website also refers to the USDB Cemetery as the Fort Leavenworth Post Cemetery.
The USDB Cemetery should not be con-fused with the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
The USDB Cemetery is one of 30 cemeteries overseen through the Office of Army Cemeteries, according to OAC’s website.Linville said a cemetery at Fort Knox, Ky., is the only other Army cemetery to achieve the shrine standard.
He is still awaiting the official certificate for the USDB Cemetery’s National Shrine Status.He said post officials learned the cemetery had achieved the Shrine standard Sept. 2 following an inspection that took place a day earlier.“
I was quite surprised,” he said.Linville said he and Kyle Fratzel, engineering equipment operator leader with DPW who is also responsible for the cemetery, were not concerned about the inspection, but Linville had no idea the inspection would result in the shrine designation.
Linville said he handles documentation for the cemetery while Fratzel is responsible for the physical maintenance.Linville said there are multiple pages of regulations that have to be met for the inspection by the Office of Army Cemeteries, including regulations for the appearance of the headstones in the cemetery.
“So we have to clean the headstones, make sure they’re readable,” he said.
The USDB Cemetery was established in 1884.Linville said 241 people are buried in the cemetery — 94 former military inmates and 147 former civilian inmates. He said the cem-etery includes remains of both military and civilian inmates because the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks was twice operated as a federal pris-on with civilian inmates.
According to the OAC website, the last burial at the USDB Cemetery took place in 1957.But Linville said the cemetery remains ac-tive. If an inmate’s remains are not claimed, that person can be nominated for burial at the cemetery.“It has to go through a review process,” he said.