May 29, 2006 – Memorial Day 2006

Today we made our annual pilgrimage to the township cemetery two miles down the road.

We don’t actually know anyone buried there, but it seems appropriate to go there on this day. We usually go look at the gravestones and try to imagine what life must have been like in their time. There are many more babies and children who died at a young age than there is now. After walking around, we sit on a bench, look west and talk about people we know who have died. 

The cemetery is one of hundreds of township cemeteries in Iowa. Most every township (six miles square) had a cemetery and a one room school house.

I imagine the people buried here would be startled to learn that the new life they started here did not support their heirs and that most had to move on. There were more people in this township in 1920 than today. The consolidation of farms has dropped the population through time.

It’s interesting to note how the world has changed since 1862 by a simple observation – gravestone engraving. This gravestone, for example, bears the relationship of the woman buried below, not her name. Her marker identifies her only as “the wife of J.R. Cordell.”