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I started roaming through graveyards with my father at a very early age. We lived in Europe and dad would stop at various military burial grounds in France and Germany. |
My first memory of such an occasion was at Chateau Thierry France where the soldiers who died in the Belleau Woods in WWI were interred. I never took stock of how many graves I had visited over the years, thinking the passion for reading headstones was my father's pastime. Some of the most interesting were in Germany where both Nazi and Russian graves resided together. The Russian graves had unusual crosses (Russian Orthodox) that had three crossbars, two straight and one on an angle.
As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet in 1603, "brevity is the soul of wit", I am always struck by what is written on the stones of the dead. Each engraving a poignant summation that embodies the person's life and sometimes a warning to those of us left behind. I believe the peace we feel in such places has its roots in [Matthew 11:28] where Christ tells us "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."