Monthly Archives: May 2012


The lotus plays prominently in ancient Egyptian and the Eastern cultures. According to Egyptian mythology, the lotus flower rises up out of the primordial ooze from which all life was created, opened, and the sun itself arose from the tender … Continue reading

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Old Soldiers Never Die

In an address to Congress on April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur delivered the most rousing speech of his career, and one of the most memorable lines of all times–old soldiers never die; they just fade away–in the last paragraph of his … Continue reading

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day and was created out of the desire for Americans to commemorate the sacrifices made during the American Civil War. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than any other war that Americans … Continue reading

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Draped American Flag

The United States flag is almost exclusively used as a symbol on the gravestones of veterans.  The flag is the symbol of our country and denotes patriotism and love of country.  It is displayed on the graves of veterans because … Continue reading

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Royal Neighbors of America

“For better is a neighbor that is near than a brother that is far.” Proverbs 27:10 Marie Kirkland of Council Bluffs, Iowa, placed an add in her local paper, the Council Bluffs Nonpareil, to bring together a meeting of the … Continue reading

Posted in Metal Markers | 1 Comment


Wheat’s origins are unknown but is the basis of basic food and a staple in many cultures. Because of wheat’s exalted position as a mainstay foodstuff, it is viewed as a gift from Heaven. Wheat symbolizes immortality and resurrection.  But, like many … Continue reading

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Like the morning dew

Displayed on the square-top white marble gravestone of 30-year old Arad Davis who died in 1852, is a highly-stylized willow tree, symbolizing sorrow and mourning.  The epitaph on the gravestone, faded and weathered but still legible, speaks to the fleeting … Continue reading

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Cast iron willow

The willow motif on this gravemarker is not unusual, in fact, the willow is one of the most common symbols found in American cemeteries.  What makes this willow special is that it is found on a cast iron gravemarker.  While … Continue reading

Posted in Materials, Symbolism | 2 Comments

The Edmund Ball Mausoleum

Edmund Burke Ball, with his brother, Frank, borrowed $200 from their Uncle George Ball to purchase a can company.  A few years later the brothers added glass jars to their product mix and founded the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Business, … Continue reading

Posted in Mausoleums | 3 Comments

Mother’s Day

The weathered square-top white marble tablet in the photograph above is nothing special.  This kind of marker is ubiquitous in American cemeteries.  Not the kind of gravestone that draws attention because it is plain and not adorned with any remarkable … Continue reading

Posted in Epitaphs | 3 Comments