Friday, July 10, 2009

Respect For The Dead

The past fews days have not brought good news for those who work hard to preserve cemeteries and other places where our ancestors are buried:

- In Oxford, Alabama as I write this a 1,500 year old Indian burial mound is being desecrated so it can serve as fill for the construction of a Sam's Club.

Oxford, Alabama Destroying A 1500-Year-Old Indian Mound To Build A Sam's Club

State Laws Offer Few Protections For Mound

- In Alsip, Illinois (outside of Chicago), four people have been charged with the uprooting more than 300 bodies and dumping them in a corner of the cemetery in order to resell the burial plots.

4 charged. 300 graves desecrated

Till's kin on neglected casket: Get it out of here

Cemetery workers made $300K in gravedigging scheme

Parents can't find graves in Burr Oak 'Babyland'

What these stories have in common is that greed seems to triumph even after death. As the saying goes you can't take it with you, but now you can't even rest in peace.

Terry Thornton of Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi has highlighted the Oxford, AL story and I've been helping him publicize it. The best way for you to get involved as a reader is to tweet this blog post or any of the links included here if you are on Twitter. Or e-mail the post to someone you know who is a fan of cemetery preservation.

For genealogy bloggers, try to take a minute and think about how you would feel if your ancestors were involved in one of these awful situations. In order to keep the preservation of burial locations in the forefront of peoples' attentions, consider posting at your blog about how important cemeteries and other burial sites have been to your family and your genealogy research.

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