There is much discussion as to how (or if) a cemetery can be used for other than burials. Some consider it sacred ground and say that nothing other than visitation is appropriate. Others take a wider view, saying that a cemetery is a place where history can be celebrated with cemetery tours and reenactments of historical figures.
Graceland hosts many popular tours. And still others, including some Chicago area cemeteries, encourage the above to be shared actively by the living. Lets look at the wide range of ideas: Continue reading “Can a Cemetery co-exist with the living?”
“If we get separated while walking through the cemetery, meet me at Highland Avenue and Main Avenue”.
Yes, streets, roads, and avenues actually have names in some cemeteries. I would guess that this topic may not have been often mentioned before. I was fascinated by seeing actual street signs in Jewish Waldheim. I am not sure how many of the larger cemeteries name their streets, but I would like to know more. The two Chicago area cemeteries are Graceland on Chicago’s north side and Jewish Waldheim in Forest Park.
If you are into giving trivia questions, one or more of these street names are sure to be tough to guess. As a side note, St. Adalbert’s Catholic Cemetery has a city street (Newark) bisecting it. And All Saint’s Catholic Cemetery has two sections, on both sides of River Road.
In order to be politically correct, I have omitted signs like “Dead End” or “One Way- Do not Enter”’ Addition and comments welcome! Continue reading “Cemetery Street Names”
Cemeteries command little respect when the “powers that be” want to build or expand an airport. Our departed ancestors are simply “in the way” when we focus on aeronautical progress. The classic and most recent case was the destruction of St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery on the west end of O’Hare International Airport, until a few years ago, at the foot of runway 9-R. There, some 1,400 people and five acres of cemetery of the St. John United Church of Christ in Bensenville, were dug up to expand the “the world’s busiest airport.” Another nearby cemetery, Resthaven, clings to existence.
But this story is about a third, least known cemetery over there by runway 32-R, on the far eastern edge of the airport. It was the first to be removed in the name of progress. Lets look at Wilmer’s Old Settler Cemetery also known as the cemetery for the Evangelical Zions Society of Leyden Township. Continue reading “The third and least known cemetery in O’Hare Airport”
The Jewish faith, as well as some others, have a wonderful and thoughtful custom of leaving a small stone on the grave. Placing a stone on the grave is an act of remembrance and serves as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave. It also enables visitors to honor the burial and the deceased.
Why stones you ask? Stones are lasting and fitting symbols of the lasting presence of the deceased’s life and memory. Why not Flowers? Flowers are a good metaphor for life. Life withers; it fades like a flower. For that reason, flowers are an apt symbol of passing, but while flowers may be a good metaphor for the brevity of life, stones seem better suited to the permanence of memory. Stones do not die. Continue reading “Leaving a stone at a gravesite”