Madison Forest Hill Cemetery
Lowell | Sarah
| Pao | Erika | Juan
The Forest Hill Cemetery is divided into sections
by roads and paths. We started by the Union Soldiers' Rest, where a lot
of the Union soldiers are buried. All the tombstones look alike. A larger
headstone is standing in the middle. We all thought it was a general,
or someone important, but it was for all those kids whose dads went off
to war. We walked down to the Confederate Soldiers' Rest, and it looked
about the same.
In the Jewish part of the cemetery, the headstones had Hebrew inscribed
on them. Some had little stones or pebbles on top. Anna's mom said it
is a sign of respect.
Families were buried either under the same stone
or really close. I think that is very good and I hope to do that, too.
One student commented that it was kind of weird that we were walking over
bodies. I found it peaceful. There also were Hmong headstones with beautiful
color laser etchings of mountains, lakes, and other scenes from nature
on the backs of the stones. There were beautiful flowers around these
recent graves. Some had been knocked over by the wind, so we fixed them.
When Forest Hill Cemetery was built it was thought that cemeteries should
perform double duty as parks. So Forest Hill is a park, too.
Cemeteries are naturally what we think of as spooky
or haunted, scary places where we bury our dead. But almost none of that
is true. The part that about a place to bury our dead is right, but a
lot of people don't think of it as burying someone who is dead. Some think
the person has moved on, or some people think in terms of reincarnation.
The headstones are very important. Symbols on headstones can mean things.
For instance, a hand pointing up means immortality, and there are a lot
more symbols where that came from.
I learned that lots of people even use culture when they died. I did not
know that people use candles and stars in their culture.