This month was a planning month, which is a somewhat lame way to say that nothing much tangible got done this month.
An article on the different kinds of crosses you'll see in cemeteries, and a couple of articles on military headstones and military symbols. See? There was some planning going on.
Reflections on Colorado-Cemeteries.com
This month has been one of self-reflection for me, and I've been trying to remind myself of the reasons I started this project and what about the project really excited me. The last few months have been challenging, and the demons of doubt have been surfacing, as I struggled to find the real reasons to perservere with the site, or whether it was time to evolve the project into something more.
Don't panic, I'm not going anywhere.
SOme of the conclusions are still forming, but, I wanted to share with you some of the things that excite me about this project, and what inspires me to continue.
First and foremost, I care about creating a resource that is complete, and usable, where the data is consistent, accurate, and easy to use.
Certainly, there is much data I've collected that isn't online yet, and I want to devote more time to doing that, but it was good to remember that making the data accessible and useful to every visitor is important to me.
I also learned that I dislike that information is being lost due to carelessness. So many markers and records are in the process of disappearing to the march of time, and there is no reason for this. All of this can be prevented! It can be preserved and made accessible.
I am inspired by the stories behind the stones. I care about the story of each person's life, and their connection with history, and how they fit into their community and built Colorado into the state it is today, which, really, is an appropriate thought on Colorado Day.
These thoughts, combined with the knowledge that there are many good people and projects out there, and hard-working volunteers working to protect our sacred spaces, that make me believe there is a better way to do this, and that there needs to be a way to centralize and focus everyone efforts toward the bigger picture.
While I'm not entirely certain of all the things that creating that bigger picture entails, I do know that it involves creating a better infrastructure for collaboration between all of the projects, and creating a larger vision for pooling resources and information. I'd love to be able to go to one site to get the best information on all the cemeteries in Colorado. And one day, I hope that will be Colorado-Cemeteries.com.
I can also imagine a time when people can use their iPhones to access maps and information on any cemetery in real time, as they walk the grounds. I can imagine an app for entering data and pictures and GPS into the database as they tour the cemetery. I can imagine downloadable audio tours of cemeteries in MP3 format, and I can imagine a single non-profit organization to act as a caretaker for all the records that have been collected, so that the project will continue even after all of us have gone.
Around the Web
As the expense of burial climbs, the demand for cemetery plots declines. In Colorado, more than 50% of the population is choosing cremation, and those with burial plots are selling them online.
While I had no idea that it was possible to mail remains, apparently, it is. Which means, of course, it's also possible to lose them in the mail. A grandmother's remains, misplaced in the mail, were reunited with their family.
Cemeteries, besides being sacred spaces for humans are often refuges for indigenous flora and fauna.
In California, a century-long error on a soldier's memorial has been corrected.
As in the US, the custom of burial is waning in Korea.
A preservation effort in Columbia, South Carolina by a non-profit preservation organization.
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