|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
|Categories:||History Economics Philosophy Accounting Writers|
The first glance at the thousands of gravestones in a cemetery is a quick reminder that death is inevitable, and fresh graves are a reminder that people die every day; however, that is not the case with Mount Auburn Cemetery located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The graveyard creates the impression that people deserve a peaceful resting place when they die, in memory of their lives on earth. The image below shows the Mount Auburn Cemetery, which is the object of discussion in this paper.
Figure 1: Mount Auburn Cemetery
In Mount Auburn Cemetery, the most remarkable elements which made me take the picture are the garden-style design used to give beauty to the graveyard, and the difference in size and shape design of the grave markers. The issues ringing in mind were the garden-style design which makes the cemetery look expensive like it is designated for only rich people and the reasons for the difference in sizes and shapes of grave markers which were not clear. However, it would appear that the size of grave markers could tell the popularity and the level of achievements the people had acquired during their time alive. For instance, the grave markers of prominent people who lived in the past, such as Nathaniel Bowditch (an author and mathematician whose grave is marked his monument), is distinct from the rest. Although different, the monuments and tombstones in Mount Auburn Cemetery shown in the image, are all put to memorialize the deceased. I believe they are efficient because some of the grave markers have existed for decades, allowing people to visit the graves of their loved ones from time to time. What creates a difference between the monuments meant to memorialize the deceased and other works of architecture are the inscriptions made on the tombstones giving a brief history of the dead, and their time of birth and death.
Cicero, a Roman statesman, once said that the life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living (Marcus Tullius Cicero Quotes, n.d.); memorialization refers to any activities that are done to ensure that the living remembers the dead. Apart from creating remarkable grave markers and performing various religious rituals in memory of the dead, the most common method of memorialization done today is visiting the graveyard of the loved one with a bouquet. Some people always visit the graves to replace the flowers with fresh ones - especially the flower types that the deceased loved when they were alive. For over two millennia in the past, people have visited the graves of their deceased loved ones, as a show of respect, love, and honor; for the same reason, human beings are continuing the tradition of memorializing the dead, to ensure that their stories are told for generations. Symbolism, through monuments, statues, a cross, and other symbols are instrumental in memorialization because they are physical representations of a piece of history that people ought to remember. For instance, symbols have been created to memorialize catastrophic events such as the Armenian genocide, Rwandan genocide, and the Holocaust. Therefore, apart from triggering a memory, symbolism is used to preserve the memory of events by preserving history.
Memory refers to remembrance of past events; it can be triggered by environmental factors such as smell, or visual features such as images, or symbols. According to Hyman, Ph.D. (2013), images do not always guarantee sharp memory of events; for instance, people with pictures are less likely to remember, unlike people whom a record keep events in their minds. However, it is arguably true that images can trigger the memory of past occurrences, as long as a person is familiar with them.
Hyman, I. (December 30, 2013). Photographs and Memories. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mental-mishaps/201312/photographs-and-memories
Marcus Tullius Cicero Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQoute.com. Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://brainyquote.com/quotes/marcus_tullius_cicero_117967
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Mount Auburn Cemetery Journal. (2023, Jan 13). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/mount-auburn-cemetery-journal
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