Thanksgiving is our special time to give thanks for all we have and enjoy turkey dinner with friends and family. But today I connect that popular blue and yellow box of mac and cheese to the story of a Chicago area cemetery. Continue reading “Mac & Cheese and a Farm Cemetery”
They just don’t play well together. On two separate occasions both an airplane and a helicopter crashed into Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park . Another airplane went down into St. Casimir’s cemetery.
Over the years, there have been numerous airplane vs. cemetery crashes in other areas as well.
In 1927 in Lincoln Nebraska, two died in a cemetery crash. In 1928, an airplane crashed into a cemetery between Burbank and North Hollywood California. Another in 1950 in Mt. Olive Il. In 1955 a plane crashed into Forest Cemetery near Circleville Ohio. Two died in a cemetery near St. Louis in 1968. Eastlawn Cemetery near Bloomington Illinois had a plane crash into a graveyard in 1972. In 1999 a plane crashed into Mt. Ararat Cemetery in Farmingdale New York. 2006 Hillside Cemetery, Alberta Canada, Holy Cross Cemetery in Butte Montana, a jet plane in 2009. And many more.
Long before O’Hare Airport, the Orchard Place was the site of three cemeteries, which later were simply deemed “in the way” for airplanes. Only one still remains on airport property. The other two were removed in the name of progress.
With early aviation in Chicago, we had landing fields, airdromes, flying fields, aerodromes, Airmail stations, and aviation fields. The pilots were a daring bunch of daredevils with airplane races, some even known to have been rum running between Detroit and Chicago. Many pilots, however, died in crashes, some into cemeteries. Continue reading “Airplanes and Cemeteries don’t mix!”
I invite you to appreciate the awesome art of cemetery entrance gates. These are not just the simple wrought iron gates, but ornate massive structures with towers, belfrys, rooms and more.
They are much more than keeping people out of the cemetery after closing. During daylight hours they welcome the visitor and establish the character of the cemetery grounds. They create a sense of arrival for the funeral procession, a proper sendoff for the deceased if you will.
I think they speak to us. A massive cemetery gate seems to be a metaphor, a powerful symbol illustrating our journey from our earthly life into the hereafter, and even into the presence of God. Theology aside, the architects certainly had a broad canvas to create a strong and powerful focal point at the entrance to the cemetery. The imposing beauty welcomed the mourner or visitor alike. Many are no longer with us so let’s look at these amazing works of art.