The Soul Takes Flight

Mt. Elliott Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan

Mt. Elliott Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan

The limestone gravestone in the Mt. Elliott Cemetery at Detroit, Michigan of “Louie” is faded, erosion has taken a toll. The scroll below the cherub is hard to read—but it clearly says that Louie was the son of John and Annie.  The last name along with the birth and death dates are illegible. “OUR BABY” is carved into the base of the gravestone.  The gravestone is topped with a cross and adorned with a winged cherub.  The cherub’s face has a 1920s look to it with its ringletted curls in a bob. The wings that fold around the cherub’s face form a heart shape that has a sweetness and tenderness to it, though, the deep set pupils gives the image an almost haunting look.
The winged cherub was a symbol that became popular in the 18th Century.  Winged cherubs replaced the stark and morbid flying death’s heads from our Puritan forefathers.  The cherubs have a childlike countenance of innocence.  The iconography represents the flight of the soul from the body upward to Heaven and the hope of the resurrection.

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