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Citizen’s Memorial

Citizen’s Memorial is a starkly vacant plot just north of bustling Austin Avenue. It is bordered by what looked like a mechanic’s shop and fast food restaurants. It is exposed, and yet still very obscure – the wire fence was a greater help in finding the cemetery than the relatively small sign that marks the cemetery’s true entrance. Over the course of the half hour I spent there, multiple cars passed by on the small county road that borders Citizen’s Memorial to the north, perhaps rushing away to the nearby suburbs.

The earliest grave I could find was 1822, whereas the most recent was, surprisingly, 2009. There were many military headstones, including soldiers from both world wars.

Near the east border of the cemetery I found a grave accompanied by a toy car and airplane. The grave these mementos were accompanying caused me some slight shock, as the man it memorialized had died at only 50 years old. I sat here for a while before continuing on, pondering as to what these mementos were for, and who they were from.

The visit could best be described as curiously ethereal. Standing in this hidden place, I felt hidden as well. I could hear the world going by, and knew that they paid no attention to this dirt plot on the side of the road. Though perhaps there is something to be desired in terms of upkeep for the cemetery, and though it could certainly use more prominent signage, I felt that Citizen’s Memorial was everything a final resting place should be – quiet without being stifling, solemn without being sorrowful, reflective with the right measure of reverence.

 

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