Tag Archives: cemetery

Yorktown National Cemetery

 

The next stop on the driving tour was a solemn one.

 

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Where I found it a sad statement on today’s society that this sign even needed to be posted.

 

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Silence and respect is the very least we can give them.

 

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I’ve always found cemeteries to be beautiful places.

 

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And never fail to become emotional…. constantly close to tears.

 

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It doesn’t matter that none of my people were here…..

 

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They’re someone’s people.

 

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Someone’s son, husband or father.

 

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And they made the ultimate sacrifice for a country we all share.

 

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Cemeteries are a perfect place for personal reflection.

 

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And I made sure to give my veteran husband some time alone with memories of his war… and those he lost.

 

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I have to admit I was ignorant of the tradition of coin laying. You don’t see this up our way, but almost every grave had coins on it in Yorktown.

 

According to legend, the coin left belongs on the gravestones of U.S. military veterans. Visitors who wish to show their respect leave coins on the headstones in different amounts. It shows their loved ones of the soldiers family that someone has come to visit the grave.

Leaving a penny means you visited and want to thank the veteran for their service. A nickel means you trained at boot camp with the deceased, while a dime suggests you served with him or her. Finally, a quarter signifies you were with the soldier when they passed away.

The origin of the tradition, like the meaning behind it, is still up for debate. But many people believe it started in America during the Vietnam War. America was having a crisis of conscience. Any discussion of the war usually devolved into a more significant discussion about politics. Leaving a coin was a way to say you appreciate the soldier’s service while avoiding an inevitable uncomfortable conversation.

 

I really wish I’d known this before our visit.

I would have broken my piggy bank and put a penny on each and every one.

 

They’re dying to get in….

 

Stop number two on day 3 was Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont.

 

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Yes… I said cemetery.

But not just any cemetery… au contraire mon ami. This final resting place is in Barre, Vermont… the granite capitol of the United States.

 

“Established in 1895, Hope Cemetery consisted of 53 acres designed and planned by the renowned landscape architect Edward P. Adams. By that time, stone cutters from all over the world, especially Italy, were flocking to Barre, Vermont, to enjoy the booming granite industry in the city. It is estimated than one out of every three memorials found across the United States was made using granite mined in Barre.”

“Barre is also known for having an uncommonly high death rate, but that, too, is related to the industry that made it famous. Silicosis, a respiratory disease that is caused by inhaling granite dust, led to an abnormal number of deaths in the area. When the Spanish Flu swept through the area, many knew that death could be just around the corner and got to work designing their own tombstones. This tradition has carried on ever since and about 75 percent of all of the tombstones found in Hope Cemetery were carved by the occupants of the graves they sit above.”

 

So we strolled among the dearly departed.

 

 

 

Have we met?

The weird thing is… it really isn’t.

 

 

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We walked and we marveled…

 

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And knew right away this wasn’t your ordinary cemetery.

 

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And while it felt disrespectful to chortle in a graveyard…

 

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Sometimes you just had to.

Instructions. What’s to learn…?

Die. Get planted. Take the eternal dirt nap.

Easy peasy.

 

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Some of the carvings were lovely.

 

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Some were serene.

 

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Some were intricately wrought.

 

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Some a little narcissistic.

 

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Some were odd.

 

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Some downright strange.

 

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Cat lovers wanted everlasting furballs hawked on them…

 

 

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And soccer players wanted giant balls.

(I can’t prove that, but I know it’s true.)

 

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This was a testimony to love everlasting.

 

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And this a heartfelt sentiment about mothers.

 

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This chicka is famously known as the Bored Angel… seeming to say, “Come on, die already. Get it over with.”

 

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There were hands clutching posies…

 

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And massive monograms.

 

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There were ducks…

 

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And a fair share of art deco.

Here’s a door for my Thursday Door people.

 

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But the one that really got me?

 

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The chair.

Really… wth?

 

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Chairs are made to be sat upon.

Did this dearly departed’s family members really think, “Hey kids… want to plant your tuchis on Uncle Shmuel for generations to come?”

The husband dared me to sit on it and have my picture taken. And don’t think I didn’t imagine some interesting selfies….

 

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But walking around a cemetery, gawking and taking blog pictures seemed blasphemous enough.

A girl doesn’t want to push her luck.