What if I told you that there are free, open air museums all across the country? They are in every town in America, and you have access to them! Some of them even have artifacts from the 17th and 18th Centuries! Now, you’re probably thinking, “What? Why did no one tell me about these??” But someone did. They just referred to them by a different name. They probably referred to them as cemeteries or graveyards. As one of the most important places of history, culture, and religion, the cemeteries of our past often don’t get the attention that they deserve or need. One of our greatest historical resources is in danger. And we CAN make a difference.
Often times, these cemeteries hold the keys to the history of a town, event, nation, time period, or all of the above. However, because these places aren’t necessarily seen as the culturally rich centers that they are, they are often overlooked by preservationists. As seen above, stones can weather. They become worn down over time if they are not properly kept up. This can mean a loss of information, art, and historical artifacts. Some cemeteries, usually the ones that are well known and seen as important, are really well kept! For example, take the Soldier’s National Cemetery at Gettysburg!
By visiting and learning from these incredible places, it shows that they hold the significance that they deserve. The art demonstrated on these headstones is representative of a bygone era. The religion seen in the tombstones shows the importance of religion during different eras. It is up to us to ensure that these monuments remain standing for the future generations. Take part in preservation. Visit the cemeteries. Take a tour. Research the art. Love the history.