Thursday, July 30, 2009

Arlington Memorial Gardens

This week I paid a visit Arlington Memorial Gardens Cemetery, first established in 1934 and located on Compton road in Mt Healthy. Overall, I found Arlington to be a lot smaller of a cemetery than Spring Grove. In fact, I learned that Arlington memorial gardens is only 165 acres compared to Spring Grove cemetery's 733 acres. I think the look of this cemetery is also very different from Spring Grove, containing 29 sections, that are well marked and separated. As I walked through the cemetery I found the names of each section, such as the Garden of Trinity, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of the Last Supper. I noticed each section or garden contains one very visible monument that relates to the garden's name. For example, in the garden of the trinity I walked through a large archway that lead me to a huge monument that was essentially a statuary icon of the trinity. All the gardens did contain some kind of christian elements, icons, and symbols to them, and there are many biblical passages that are used on the monuments and burial sites. During my walkabout, I noticed all the burial sites are flat and stones are embedded in the ground. I think this simple idea, though contemporary, makes the memorial park easy to maintain and to be enjoyed by its visitors. I enjoyed how well the flowery and lawn looked and found myself able to walk a steady pace to take in the scenery.
Apart from each garden in the cemetery, there is also a section with a vast mausoleum, complete with a chapel and a memorial fountain. The look of this area is very serene and as it is stowed away in the far back corner of the cemetery. I remember feeling like I could really relax and even meditate there if I ever wanted to. The cemetery is active and has a very contemporary but simple style to it. I learned that Arlington memorial gardens has even received awards for excelling in beauty. Overall, Arlington memorial gardens is a naturally peaceful place not unlike Spring Grove. I learned that Arlington, Spring Grove, and perhaps all other cemeteries have this combined element of serenity, spirituality, and nature. This may be a universal element that makes the modern day cemetery in our society...

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