Cemeteries bring about a wide array of thoughts and emotion. Grief, honour, tradition and history, are all words that are associated with these sacred places. Therefore, they need to be attended to and handled with care. Part of our past lives on in the monuments and gravestones these grounds hold. In time many of these monuments and stones begin to deteriorate. They break down or lose their engravings. With the loss of these markers comes the loss of the history they contain. This is when it is time to consider cemetery restoration.
What Is it?
Cemetery restoration is the repairing of cemetery grounds. This includes the grass, tombstones and monuments. Repairs are made to any piece that is broken or deteriorating. Old headstones and monuments are cleaned. Names and dates are re-etched in the stones. Repairs are made to cracks. Uneven tombstones are balanced. Chips are filled to slow further breakage. New grass is planted where needed. Flower vases are repaired. Words are re-etched into plaques. Monuments are restored and loose stones are stabilized.
The purpose of cemetery restoration is to maintain history. Cemeteries are records of the past. The markers and monuments serve to preserve the history and memory of those that have moved on. For most families, the graves serve as a reminder of the extensive accomplishments of the ordinary people who lived there, who served in various capacities and contributed to the culture and development of their community.
You also honour relatives; you celebrate people who have had a huge positive impact in the society and remember veterans and war heroes for their incredible service. Cemetery restoration also helps preserve and protect these unique resources so that the generations that follow can appreciate and learn from them. Cemeteries are often vandalized by people searching for valuables that may have been buried with those who have passed on. The monuments and gravestones sometimes are stolen and resold to unsuspecting buyers. By restoring them, you correct an injustice.
Cemetery restoration is a necessity for communities. It allows for the preservation of history, family lineage and fixing what has been desecrated. All of these things are important for future generations so they can know where they came from and to also understand and value the culture of a time period that has since passed. More importantly, a cemetery represents a legacy for the coming generations and consequently must be preserved and protected.