Friday, October 29, 1999
Green Cemetery: How Will Our Stories Be Told?
Brilliant autumn leaves of broad-branched maples, set off by the still green of beech and rare conifers, set a tone of magnificence in our little rural cemetery. Choruses of old headstones face the morning sun while newer memorials face the roads and paths to speak to passersby: "Remember me, remember my story."
Grander memorials are like jewels in a crown. The 1874 gazebo given by Hannah Green is a place of rest and introspection. The marble tablet inside does not cover a burial space, but offers a contemplative poem. The great archway on Bedford Road was given in 1914 by Benjamin Heald to honor his parents. Will our children see fit to so honor us?
Touching is the infant section, with tiny stones shyly showing a little lamb, a single date or a single name. A family touched by sorrow, a story never told.
Statues and engravings, obelisks and phrases of meaning differentiate the stonesfancy to simple, a stone for every taste. One grave is decorated with a common field stone. It memorializes a man killed by a horse in a field, and from that field came the stone.
The 1907 Wilson Chapel is a perfect representation of civic pride, generosity, and reverence. Captain Horace Waldo Wilson contributed the chapel. His portrait hangs inside, along with that of his grandson who turned the first shovel of sod for its building. The last recorded service in the chapel was in 1951 and it used to be cleaned and open for visitors every Memorial Day. Thankfully, it is currently under repair and may again be available for simple services in beautiful surroundings.
We baby boomers are aging. How will our stories be told; what will we leave of value? The cemetery used to be run by elected cemetery commissioners; this role has been merged with the many roles that the selectmen take on, assisted ably by Gary Davis, department of public works superintendent. Inquiries should be directed to them.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito