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Blog 2: Citizen’s Memorial Cemetery

Hello everybody! So, Caitlin and I went to the Citizen’s Memorial Cemetery together the other day and, while Mapquest said it should take three minutes, we spent thirty to forty five minutes driving. This was actually the first thing that struck me as unusual about this cemetery. Even in the directions we used to get there, the road name we needed to turn on was not listed. It is a very small street called Simon Street, but the map skips over it and the cemetery is very hidden. It is relatively small, but seems to be very well maintained. At first glance, I notice many brightly colored flowers garnishing graves around me. I also notice that it has been recently mowed because I can see small pieces of cut grass. There are no leaves on the ground and the graves are all on flat land, minus a few. Many of the graves with dates of death from the last twenty or so years were sunken in. The ground around them was tender and, to be honest, quite eerie. I wondered why many of the graves with early dates of death were still on flat land, while the more recent ones were sunken. My theory is that it may have had to do with the Georgetown flood and potentially a different type of burial in that time period, but I may be completely wrong, and I don’t want to get on a tangent. The graves were very spread out and were clearly divided into physical sections that did not always seem to make sense. This led me to wonder whether or not the cemetery had been excavated recently and my guess is that it had not been which was why some of the tombstones seemed random or out of place.

Upon a closer look, I noticed that a number of the graves I was able to read were surrounded by flags and medals. Many had “Vietnam hero,” “Served in WWII,” “Valuable member of the air force” inscribed. I am not sure whether there is any sort of correlation between members of the armed forces and slaveholders, but it would be something I am interested in looking into. I would guess that those people had more money based on the fact that many of their headstones were surrounded by borders and created with marble. The smaller, unmarked graves, however, were probably those of their slaves or just slaves in general.

Something that completely shocked me was the most recent burial dates. There was a number of stones with dates as recent as 2009. I never would have expected such a hidden cemetery to hold tombstones of people who had died so recently. The earliest date, however, was 1822. The sign for the cemetery is legible and probably recent, but all it says is “Citizen’s Memorial Cemetery. Established in 1906.” I feel like it should absolutely have more about the history of the cemetery and I would be interested in helping to make that happen. On a final note…I read on one stone, “She saw no color.” The date of death was in 2009, which led me to believe that some people are aware of the segregation in this cemetery, I’m just not exactly sure who.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 19, 2011 at 5:58 am

    That sounds awesome!!

  2. January 19, 2011 at 5:58 am

    That sounds really cool!!

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