Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jefferson City, Missouri

Ailurophilia:  She must have loved her cat. She must have been an ailurophile. From the Greek, that word means a cat lover. It looks like she had other loves in her life, too. And, for sure, she was loved by her parents and family. To love and be loved: That's all anyone really wants in life. Hawthorn Memorial Gardens. [2015]

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mt. Pleasant, Texas

Ailurophilia: Love is one of the emotions found in every graveyard. Here is someone who was a loving wife and mother, and apparently a loving 'nana' as well. Another kind of love shows up as well: ailurophilia. What's that? Love of cats. Old Union Cemetery. [2012]

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cortez, Colorado

Proud Public Servants ~ Firefighters:  If your headstone had two sides and room for two symbols that would summarize your life, what would you pick for each side? Here's a firefighter so dedicated that both symbols commemorate his days at the fire hall. Do you recognize St. Florian's Cross? Cortez Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Frederick, Maryland

Proud Public Servants ~ Firefighters:  St. Florian has come down to us from the pre-Christian Roman Empire as the patron saint of firefighters. In fact, St. Florian's Cross is used as the emblem of fire departments throughout the land. It is a variant of the Maltese cross. As for 14/28: That's code for the Carroll Manor Fire Company. Just by coincidence, though, John 14:28 reads "If you loved me, you would be glad I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than me." Mount Olivet Cemetery. [2014]

Frederick County Fire and Rescue Services

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lewes, Delaware

Proud Public Servants ~ Firefighters:  The most unique part of the memorial is the Chief's granite fire hat. This one will never need to be replaced. Now, read the sentence that summarizes his life: "He's not here, he's at the firehall." The town's fire engine makes an appearance, too, just in case there's an emergency in his new digs. Bethel Methodist Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wilbraham, Massachusetts

Proud Public Servants ~ The Police:  The McDonald Preserve and Alton's Way Trail are named after him: a prominent citizen of the Town of Wilbraham, who served as police sargent and fire commissioner. His most prominent memorial, however, is not in the cemetery; it's the McDonald Preserve and the Alton's Way Trail, which began as tractor trails on the McDonald farm. See any tractors? East Wilbraham Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Proud Public Servants ~ The Police:  His survivors must have been proud of his role in bringing some peace of mind to urban Wyoming. Not only did they put his picture on his headstone, they also made sure the Officer's badge and uniform were there for everyone to see. Mount Olivet Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, September 14, 2015

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Proud Public Servants ~ The Police:  Keeping Camp Hill safe became his calling, and he ended his career as Chief of Police. Now, he has a place of honor in the borough's cemetery, where he continues to wield the authority of his badge. Here, the job of keeping his neighbors in line must be infinitely easier than the ones he confronted in life. Camp Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, September 11, 2015

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cause of Death ~ Murdered:  Cemeteries are more about life than death. In fact, any reference to death is rare. Rather, tombstones almost always honor the life lived or project what life will be like on the other side. Here is the exception, however. Here lies a 41-year-old husband who was murdered, his widow wailing: "Oh call my husband back to me." Graphologists would recognize the down-slant of the cry as a sign of depression and, perhaps, suicidal tendencies. Note also the marriage knot, which is neither broken nor drawn tight. Mount Calvary Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tombstone, Arizona

Cause of Death ~ One Murdered, One Hanged:  When the name of the place is Tombstone, you expect to find a city of the dead somewhere in town. These two 'fellers' died with their boots on and are buried in Boothill, a name given to many cemeteries of the American West. While the words are authentic, the markers are not. In fact, Boothill has been manicured to appeal to the tourist market. Few cemeteries are more fun to visit than this one. Boothill Graveyard. [1987]

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Cause of Death ~ Drunk Driver:  A holiday like Labor Day makes the warning all the more urgent: Please don't drink and drive. If you do, you may take the life of a 25-year-old with so much more to give the world. And, you may diminish the lives of the many he touched and are now left behind. Wellsboro Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, September 4, 2015

Selma, Alabama

Canine Grave Guardians:  They are far too friendly looking to be grave guardians.  Maybe they're shabtis outside the tomb rather than inside like their ancient Egyptian ancestors. Whatever role they play, they won't be lonely because there are two of them. Look closely and you will see a few more shabtis. Lincoln Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Covington, Georgia

Canine Grave Guardians:  Man's best friend: in life and in death. A dachshund stands guard at his master's grave, looking as sad as every visitor who comes to pay their respects. Southview Cemetery. [2015]