The simple two-foot-tall white stone is not much different from the more than 138,000 others that surround it at the Golden Gate National Cemetery a dozen miles from downtown San Francisco. Besides the inscription, five stars arrayed in a circle at its peak is the only distinction that separates the grave marker of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz from the others. Why the admiral is buried here is an interesting story.
Because he was prone to seasickness—and that not being a career enhancing trait for naval officers—Chester Nimitz originally wanted to attend the U.S. Military Academy. With an appointment to West Point unavailable, he became a midshipman at Annapolis instead. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy—at the age of 15 and without graduating from high school—from Fredericksburg, Texas, a small German immigrant farming community in the hill country west of San Antonio not far from today's LBJ Ranch. He soon outgrew his malady.