JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A lot of service members are buried in military cemeteries like the one in Vicksburg, but there is a much smaller military cemetery in Jackson.
Not only is the cemetery not very well known any more, the people buried there are from a chapter of Mississippi history that a lot of folks are not familiar with.
Cedar Lawn Cemetery is located along West Capital Street, right before the zoo. It was established in 1899 as Jackson’s second burial ground. This second cemetery is unusual because within it is a patch of land that belongs to The Netherlands. Buried there are 30 Dutch pilots who died while training here in World War II.
Their homeland was overrun by Germany early in the war, and the Dutch military needed a place to train. About 1,000 of them, some with families, were stationed in Jackson in 1942 to train at Hawkins Field.
As pilots began to die in training accidents at airfields here, the City of Jackson ceded a section of Cedar Lawn Cemetery to the Netherlands for a burial ground. All of the pilots from here or elsewhere in the nation were brought to Jackson to be buried in their “native soil” in Cedar Lawn.
The latest burial saw in the Dutch section of Cedar Lawn was Pieter Cramerus. He was born in 1916 and died in 2017.