I spent about an hour at the cemetery Saturday morning. It’s not a place that most people visit more than a few times a year, but because of my hobby, I find myself there at least once a month in the summer, and a few times throughout the school year. I’m a volunteer photographer for Find A Grave (a memorial site) and I also take headstone photos for out of town family members. They need information from the stone for their family history, or they want confirmation that their ancestor is buried here, or they want to see that a stone they ordered was installed.
As I walked around Saturday I was struck by the notion that the population of the cemetery is now greater than the current population of the town! Generation after generation of men and women, saints and sinners, old timers and babies have been laid to rest at Gethsemane. Their headstones are proof that they were born somewhere and that they died here, but I wish that each had a little plaque that told the story of how they lived in between those dates.
I have the obituaries for many of those who have gone. I have newspaper articles about them. A very few have little hints about their lives engraved on their stones: birth place, children, service record, occupation, title, tribute. But for the most part the cemetery is just a place of names and dates. The memories of how the residents lived are kept by family members who are still around. I hope we continue to tell their stories!