Fort Cronkhite, War Lessons from the Grave

We went there for the beach, but destiny taught us to reflect “bigger.”

At night, the Fort is empty and dead quiet. Supposedly.

War History is warning and reminder that War is a product of Evil that brings nothing but misery, suffering, death and destruction. No one wins. Fallen Soldiers that died young leaving behind grieving orphans, widows and parents can not be raised back from the dead.

As I said, it was the beach that drew us to the Marin Headlands. It’s our second visit to Rodeo Beach. Nope, no Cowboys in these rugged seaside oasis. Just a vast land forgotten by time.

That day, Surfers were riding the waves like Cowboys ride their horses, wild, free, one with Nature, unafraid of unforeseen danger around and beneath them. Complete trust. No fear. Beautifully lost in their adrenaline and adventure. They are a vision of both inspiration and envy. They get to live their passion moment by moment, any day of choosing.

On the right side of the beach stands of what’s left of Fort Cronkhite, a former US Army post that served as part of the coastal artillery defenses of the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II.

The Soldiers at Cronkhite manned gun batteries, radar sites, and other fortifications on the high ridges overlooking the fort.

The sacrifices a Soldier makes is beyond Heroic. They deserve more from their Country and it’s Citizens for what they have endured and given up. They deserve honor, recognition and help once they return to the World as Civilians. Many of them have PTSD and need serious support for a very long time. In my City, I see Homeless Veterans living by Freeway Underpass and Parks. Is this how we treat our Heroes? Society have been using People for generations, War included. When we’re no longer needed, we’re dispensable and instantly forgotten. We are only useful until we are not. That’s the real World.

That day, we get to walk were Soldiers used to walk.

That day, we get to enjoy and respect the Bay like it was in the good old days.

That day, we get to go inside gun battery stations. We get to experience a Soldier’s claustrophobia, discomfort, loneliness, fear and isolation. Few minutes was already unbearable.

The breeze was powerful, strong, brave. I could hear a Soldier’s muffled whisper being carried by the wind. The words unclear, but there is a sad longing in its tone. And dead Soldiers had been patiently whispering everyday close to 8 decades hoping their messages might reach the people they left behind. Ghosts don’t get tired, people do.

The Ocean continues to temp and tease in this cold Paradise.

Fort Cronkhite was established in the late 1930s. Over 70 years later, still remains the strong “Temporary Wooden Buildings” like the barracks, mess halls, supply depots, chapels, and recreation buildings.

The first unit to move into the fort was Battery E of the 6th Coast Artillery in June 1941.

The Fort was decommissioned in 1974 but it’s heart lives on in every space that still exist. The Fort feels like it’s alive and anytime the Ghosts of the people that once roam its halls and rest in its barracks will come to life like the war never stopped.

They seem empty, until one looks closer.

We went up towards the coastal side of the hiking trail. From above, the view was magnificent 360 degrees. Just as magnificent were the structures History and Man created. Just as magnificent were the formations Nature molded and shaped with its Elements. In this place, God and Man decided to do a collaborative Art. And yes, it’s a beautiful masterpiece.

We were lucky to witness something that was rare and personal, or perhaps we were too imaginative.

Battery Townsley stands tall and proud like it’s ready anytime. Will the U.S. one day use all its weapons of defense? Is there a guarantee that we don’t destroy our Planet with us in it? Are we to face and experience these questions soon? It’s hard to take these reflections seriously when we were having so much fun.

Watching Battery Townsley. We stayed for awhile and listened to its stories. It shared important lessons that the Present needs to reflect and learn from. Unless, the Present is too proud to listen and learn from its Past.

Again, War History is teaching us all to be “bigger.” Our dead Soldiers are trying to rise from their graves to warn us from making the same horrific, deadly mistakes. The consequences of War will be the same regardless of time.

I don’t think many of us will survive a War being spoiled with instant comforts, gratifications and convenience. I don’t think people can last when they are so used to comfort, entitlement and technology. Can we imagine our children being Soldiers like it was in Vietnam? They will die as soon as they arrive in the battlefield. Many adults will die having no survival skills and common sense. I am one of these Adults. No shame in admitting one’s weakness. Humility.

The War in Ukraine is not that far. The War on Humanity and Democracy is already here. We can’t pretend we don’t see it. We can’t pretend it doesn’t affect us. It’s just a matter of time for us to choose sides. Good versus Evil. Heroes versus Villains. Freedom versus Injustice. People versus the Oppressors, Whiners versus Doers.

Peace over War, Love over Hate, Light over Darkness, why not? Isn’t living in Heaven so much better than suffering in Hell?

“Only the guilty are haunted with no safe place to hide. Those with clear conscience are left alone. Ghosts are not the enemy. A Person’s Past is his or her real enemy.”

Related Stories;

Biden says allies must stay united against Russia, expel it from the G-20

Opinion | Russia Has Declared War on the West. Here’s How to Win.

About Island Traveler

Just a Man too curious where his dreams will take him.
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24 Responses to Fort Cronkhite, War Lessons from the Grave

  1. Pingback: Fort Cronkhite, War Lessons from the Grave – Nelsapy

  2. Such a mind blowing photography and gorgeous nature 🌷🙏😍 stunning ocean and it’s
    Shores marvelous rocks ,flowers as well 👌🎋 now no peace in the world because this
    Pandemic and war started, but we hope all will be ok and we must see our happiness 👏
    Thank you for sharing and grace wishes 🙏🌷❤️🌷

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ab says:

    Your photos are very beautiful and I appreciated the tour of the Fort.

    Museums and history provide an important reminder that we must never forget the tragedies of war. No one wins and it leaves death and devastation on all sides of the war.

    The situation in Ukraine is escalating very quickly into a larger war and we can only hope that cooler heads prevail. 🙏


    • It is. Putin is likely thinking all that is helping Ukraine are his enemies, so really the World is very much involve even if many want to respond less aggressively. Every day Russia attacking Ukraine means more death, injury and loss.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your pictures are lovely and the views of the coast never get old. How erie to visit Fort Cronkhite and to reflect on the past (and present). It’s sometimes hard to believe that we may live to see WWIII. There are no winners in war.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback. Yes, no winners in a War, just loss and suffering. I though COVID was enough misery but one Evil Man decided to outdo the Pandemic with terror like no other. Hope it ends soon, 1 month pretty much destroyed Ukraine and displaced millions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. elvira797mx says:

    Awesome, and beautiful post! Great photos! Thank’s for share.
    Best wishes.


  6. Let us suppose that there exist political animals with a predatory nature. Hitler. Mussolini. Stalin. And these predators begin to sharpen their swords, like Germany did in the Spanish Civil War. And like Germany did invading Poland. And like Mussolini did invading Ethiopia. And like Stalin did attacking Germany and using WW2 to enslave eastern Europe.

    War is awful. No question. We would like to avoid it if possible. Is it always possible to avoid wars? Does the expression, “It takes two to tango” mean that war can be avoided? What do we do about aggression? Meekly submit. March to the pole where we will be summarily executed? Or do we fight back?

    And what are we to fight with when our enemies have sharpened their swords and we have armament from two decades ago that is obsolescent and our military leaders have no experience with modern tactics using modern weapons?

    If you want to avoid war at home, fight small wars abroad. There’s no end of opportunity. Political predators abound.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. says:

    “ When we’re no longer needed, we’re dispensable and instantly forgotten. We are only useful until we are not. That’s the real World.”

    This applies to so many people, especially those who have labored and toiled in the lowest paid and the lowest ranked jobs. Bodies and hands broken by their toil, then cast aside when no longer useful.

    We should be doing better for people, the inhumanity has been baked into our societies for hundreds of years that it seems normal… except it’s not, or shouldn’t be!


    • It’s nice to speak out the truth that we live each day. Many are leaving in a bubble. Many are being fake and insincere to their work force and Soldiers. We’ve seen it done repeatedly but many thinks that is normal. We need to say things and situations for what they are, very reason this has been going on for generations. Thanks. We need to put back power to the people, the hard working people.

      Liked by 1 person

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