CRANE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Naval Support Activity Crane Base continued an annual Memorial Day tradition on Monday.
On Memorial Day, the base allows visitors onto the property to visit loved ones in the cemeteries on the base. In 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor, NSA Crane was commissioned. The area was formerly occupied by regular Hoosiers before the Navy purchased the land.
As part of the acquisition, the Navy promised families with loved ones in the cemeteries that they would be allowed to make visits.
“They had to take responsibility for those cemeteries and that was part of the deal that they made with the residents,” NSA Crane Public Affairs Officer Jeff M. Nagan said.
For many who visit the cemetery, their loved ones are multiple generations in the past. Betty Edwards-Rollins is one who made the trip to Crane, but this is not her first stop on a journey to discover family lineage.
“We want to trace back as far as we can,” Edwards-Rollins said. “My husband and I have traveled down to Virginia and North Carolina and found many headstones of my relation down there.”
Edwards-Rollins was joined by numerous family members during the trip Crane. They found several family members buried in one of the 23 cemeteries at NSA Crane.
She said that she plans to gather family to write a book that would be passed down through the family.
“I want to document all of their genealogy as much as possible so that they will have it,” Edwards-Rollins said.
NSA Crane is the 3rd largest naval base in the world.