Hartford Soldiers Field Remains Run Down - NBC Connecticut

Hartford Soldiers Field Remains Run Down



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    It looks like a pile of dirt with some trash on top, but it's where Marlene Parker's mother is buried next to her dad, Adam Karatkiewicz, who fought in WWII.

    "Even though she was buried in January her plot looks like they just buried her yesterday," said Parker.

    It's something not unfamiliar to Hartford Soldier Field. Nearly 5,000 American heroes from as far back as the 19th century are buried there, but it's easy to spot headstones that are cracked, leaning, or toppled over. Some remain propped up with pieces of plywood. We first reported on the problem in January.

    "My dad was in WWII. He went to Germany. He saw a lot. He saw his best buddy get blown to pieces in the war," said Harry Hazel, Jr. "They don't take care of them."

    Several times a year, Hazel and his wife Diane visit the final resting place of U.S. Army Sergeant Harry Hazel. Every time, Hazel says his dad's chipped gravestone tilts a little more.

    "He would be disgusted, you know, to be buried here," said Hazel.

    Many say they've reached out to the city of Hartford to fix the problem.

    We contacted the directof of the city Department of Public Works, who told us the condition of the cemetery is disturbing to him but that they can't do anything about the headstones without approval from the federal government. He says a request went out months ago, and the city hasn't heard back.

    For families visiting their loved ones on Memorial Day, it leaves them wondering if anyone cares about the sacrifice their loved ones made.

    "I would hope that our senators and our congressmen and everybody else who is involved with our veterans would do something to honor our veterans, not dishonor them," said Parker.

    We reached out to Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy but did not hear back by news time.