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August 5, 2010

Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC

The Latin inscription at the top is the closing portion of Sir Thomas More’s epitaph.  It effectively translates to “So kinder death shall grant what life denied.”  The barcode though… I have no clue about that.  Does it represent numbers? His birth/death date, for instance? I have no idea… and I really don’t know how I would even go about finding that out.  Anybody an expert barcode scanner? 😛


And she’s buying a railway… to heaven.

August 2, 2010
Railway to Heaven

Beulah Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia

There were actually two with this same inscription… but they were not really buried all that close to each other.  Curious!

Anchors away

August 1, 2010
Anchors away

General Protestant Cemetery in St. John's, Newfoundland

This photo is another one that was taken by my friend Wyatt E., and I’m dedicating the post to another friend, Emily R.  Because there’s an anchor on it and it’s awesome.

Fearless in Spirit,
Loving the Lord.

Loving Memory Of
My Husband
Hon. John Browning, NLC
Died September 4th, 1921
Aged 64 Years

O True, Brave Heart, God Bless
Thee Wheresoe’er
In This Great Universe Thou
Art Today.

Many apologies for the three-day unannounced hiatus!!

Arlington mixup

July 29, 2010

This one isn’t going to be an image post… but it’s something that I think we need to bring attention to.

At Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, last month it was discovered that a number of graves – the estimate was 211 – were mislabeled.  Now, we’re learning that there may be up to six thousand graves that may be improperly marked, or not even marked at all.

Arlington is among the country’s largest cemeteries – there are more than 300,000 people buried there. At an average of 28 funerals a day, 5 days a week, Arlington has the second-highest number of burials occurring annually in the country.  The vast majority of these people are fallen servicemen and women.  This includes the Tomb of the Unknowns, which houses the remains of three (formerly four) unidentified soldiers – Unknown Soldier of World War I, Unknown Soldier of World War II, and Unknown Soldier of the Korean Conflict.  There used to be an Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam Conflict, but his remains were claimed, identified, and disinterred (unburied, and then moved to another cemetery at the request of his family) in 1998.  The Tomb of the Unknowns is guarded by the Old Guard, the 3rd US Infantry, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This cemetery is a really big deal.  All National Cemeteries are a big deal, but because this one is the closest to the nation’s capital, and because of the Tomb of the Unknowns, and the size of the cemetery and its volume of burials, Arlington is hugely important.  Most of the people buried here are people who gave their lives for our country.  So to hear that six thousand of them have been buried incorrectly?  Six thousand people, some of whom have died outside of their service, but plenty of whom were killed in the line of duty, have been so deeply disrespected as to be memorialized under somebody else’s name – or under no name at all.

There is a Congressional subcommittee hearing scheduled for today, to go over this.  The former superintendent of the cemetery left his position last month after it was revealed that 211 were wrong.  His deputy superintendent has said that he plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right to not testify at the hearing.  Sooo… we’ll see what happens.  Follow news of the hearing here, at CNN.

Seeing double

July 29, 2010
Two wives

Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mr. Sayres here was buried between his first and second wives.  Alright, that’s cool.  The thing that stands out to me is that the two women have the same maiden name.  I wonder if perhaps Linda and Mary were sisters, and when one of them died, the other got passed on to her widower.  It seems like a strange tradition to me, but it’s not that uncommon, looking back through history.  If my sister died… I would NOT want to marry her husband.  Maybe that’s just me…..

Mother and son

July 28, 2010
Mother and son

Beulah Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia

I found this one really interesting.  There’s nothing particular that stands out about the design of the memorial, but on a stone like this, it’s almost always a husband and wife buried side-by-side.  Or, perhaps, family members who died at the same time (if, for example, they died in a car crash or something).  So I was kind of startled to see that this man died, and then when his mother died two years later she was buried next to him.

It kind of makes me curious… what was their relationship like?  I don’t suspect anything creepy or incestuous – I just mean, the man was 47 years old when he died.  He didn’t have anybody else to be buried with, okay.  But why get a two-person marker like this?  If he wasn’t married/in a relationship/whatever.  And then for the other spot to be taken by his mother… no other family?  No father for her to be buried with? I understand, there are plenty of possible situations that might have made it so that’s not an option.  Divorce, etc.  I just really enjoy thinking about what the stories might be.  What went on in people’s lives, that caused them to be memorialized in death the way they have been? 🙂


July 27, 2010
Chinese Community

General Protestant Cemetery in St. John's, Newfoundland

This lovely stone is another photo from my friend Wyatt.  Does anybody out there read Chinese?  I’d love to know what this says!  The part in Chinese, that is.  I can read the part that’s in English.