Thinking at the Cemetery

The oldest graveyard in Athens, Alabama, is a block from the courthouse and is known as Old City Cemetery.  Most of the graves are unreadable and many of them have been damaged over the years.  However, the grave of John Craig received a new marker recently.  He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, so his grave has been maintained over the years.

I was sitting in the cemetery looking at his grave and wondering about his life.  His world was filled with uncertainty.  The American Colonies were going to war with England (a world super-power at the time).

If the war was lost, he could be executed for treasonous acts.  If the war was won, his world would still be filled with upheaval and unknown circumstances.  He would be living in a brand new country that was trying to establish a government.

I wonder what he must have thought about his future possibilities.  Did he think about future generations and how much his actions would effect them?  Was he afraid of the unknown future?  Was he filled with feelings of invincibility and the optimism of youth?

John Craig was fighting a war for a country that was only a dream at the time.  He was willing to die, for the idea of a free land and an independent nation.

His willingness to fight and give his life, if necessary, is still honored today.  His grave marker is maintained and replaced when needed.

Did he ever wonder if he would be remembered by generations that would be born hundreds of years in future?  Could he even imagine the idea of someone sitting at his grave thinking about his life in the year 2016?

10 thoughts on “Thinking at the Cemetery

  1. Did he ever wonder if he would be remembered by generations that would be born hundreds of years in future? Could he even imagine the idea of someone sitting at his grave thinking about his life in the year 2016?
    I hope he wouldn’t be disappointed in us and our republic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In a similar vein, my local cemetery in Western Nebraska, recently replaced damaged and worn markers of seven Civil War veterans.

    It is important we remember the sacrifices of those who served in war to guard our freedoms, especially those who died in that process.

    Perhaps if we did, fewer than 50% of the electorate would have voted in the last election, and less than half of those who voted would have determined the outcome and fate of an entire nation fro at least four years and longer, depending on the ideological bent of judicial appointees emplaced in those four years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a teenager and college student I enjoyed roaming the cemeteries to reflect on the numbers and names of plots. As a creative writer I needed inspiration and these individuals were my muse. Some were family plots, and when you conducted the math you could see the time period at which they lived, a note on who they were, and their timeline of lives in their family. I’d then attempt to honor them and place them into a story so that their lives were always remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

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