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Thomas-Wren Cemetery, Pt. 2

December 6, 2010

A recurring theme in area cemeteries is the use of flowers.  Both real and artificial flowers are placed on graves in memory of the deceased.  We find images of flowers carved into markers and memorials.  They are often used to signify the fragility of life.  Sometimes inscriptions describe the deceased as a flower in God’s garden, as seen below.


"God's garden has need of little flowers"


"An angel visited the green earth and took a flower away"

For whatever reason, most likely time and neglect, there are dozens of Woodmen of the World markers covered with biological growth of various colors.


I would love to clean this monument

I mentioned in my previous post that the western side of the cemetery was smaller and not as full as the eastern side; however, do not mistake this for being the “lesser” side in any way.  I will be showing more photos from this side in order to highlight some of the newer aspects that have appeared at Thomas-Wren in the last couple of decades or so.


View from across the street of the western side of Thomas-Wren Cemetery

Some people see graves and think of depressing death.  I usually don’t.  However, it’s hard to avoid that reaction when there’s a big freaking coffin sitting right next to the front gate.


This coffin is next to the western gate

I like it when a grave’s appearance is tailored to the life of the deceased.  It is even better when the tailoring goes beyond just an image or words.  In this case the deceased was a brickmason, and the material and layout of the grave reflects this.


This grave reflects the deceased's trade as a brickmason

Angels usually hold something, pray, or look out at the world.  I rarely see them look like they’re about to kiss.


The angel on the left appears to be about to plant one on the cheek of the other


I have seen angels.  I have seen dogs.  I have never seen an angel-dog.


"Angel Dog" sounds like the name of a band or a show on Cartoon Network

When it comes to statuary, the lamb is much more common, but the lion also has its place.



Here a hobby the deceased shared with his friends is shown.  I thought it was nice that some outside the family were involved in contributing to this grave:


"Given in memory by: friends, bikers, and families"

I’ve seen several graves with an 18-wheeler on them, which I always think marked the deceased as a trucker.  This marker indicates the career may continue as he drives the truck right on up to heaven.


An angel waits for the truck at the end of the road

This statue reminds me of the Ents from the “Lord of the Rings” series:


Dignified-looking fellow

The following grave was covered with red gravel and had these “footsteps” with words written on them and set in a row.



"If I could be anyone I choose,"

"I'd follow in Grandpa's footsteps..."

"and try to fill his shoes."

At some point in the past, graveyards became not just places where dead bodies were buried, but places where the dead only slept peacefully until they were given new life.  Here an angel sleeping on a bench decorates the grave.


Angel sleeping on a bench

I have mentioned that I look fondly on color in cemeteries.  I’ve got nothing against gray–and have been told I look good in it–but anything that serves to liven up the place–no pun intended–is a welcome asset.


Sky and duck images in color on this grave

Back of the same grave, showing a sportsman's scene

This dog-shaped object is on top of the Suggs grave.  I have not yet been able to determine if it was made like this or if it has eroded away into this condition.  There are many crater-like depression covering the entire surface.


Object on top of the Suggs grave in Thomas-Wren

I have noted the presence of a lot of squirrel iconography.  This sign takes it a bit further:


"Squirrel Crossing"

At some point while visiting Thomas-Wren Cemetery I first had the thought that the cemeteries in this area are wonderful places.  No, there is not the presence of grand monuments and tombs that are found in New Orleans and other places around the state.  However, the attention some of the graves receive, the decorations they hold and the feelings and emotions expressed by their inscriptions and actions of surviving loved ones are truly outstanding.

See more photos of this cemetery on my flickr page.


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