A graveyard is a space where people are buried. It is a small space that is often attached to a church. The word cemetery comes from Latin coemeterium, which is derived from Greek koimeterion.

When you visit your forebears’ gravesite, take a good look around. Make note of what you see.


A stroll through a graveyard can be very spiritual. Many of the symbols that decorate headstones, tombs and graves have significant meaning.

Drapery is a common motif that symbolises the veil between the living and the dead. It is often used in conjunction with other motifs such as urns, Death’s heads and flowers. A weeping willow tree is a popular symbol that conveys the sorrow of a life cut short.

During the early 1800s, Americans began to move away from Calvinistic notions of predestination and damnation in favor of more hopeful ideas such as healing and resurrection. This was reflected in the changing design of gravestones that included cherubs, angels, effigies of souls and flowers.

The dove is a Christian symbol of peace and the hope of ‘eternal life’ in ‘heaven’. It is often seen on the graves of children. Similarly, lambs are a symbol of innocence and the resurrection. A circle is a symbol of eternity and may be drawn in a variety of ways.


Despite the fact that many people use the terms graveyard and cemetery interchangeably, they are not actually the same thing. A graveyard is a specific area of ground used for burial and it is usually attached to a church and only available to members of that religion.

Graveyards were originally open spaces where people from all walks of life could be buried together. The only requirement was that they were Christian. Those who were wealthy or of a high social status were buried in individual crypts inside or under the relevant place of worship and their graves were marked with a headstone that included writing, symbols and sometimes a coat of arms.

As the population increased and space became a concern it was decided to create new places for burying which were independent of churchyards, these were known as cemeteries. As a result, the graveyard went full circle from being an enjoyable community space with ordered burials to becoming crowded and unpleasant spaces reserved solely for the dead.


While the terms graveyard and cemetery are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Graveyards are usually attached to a church, while cemeteries do not have any religious affiliation and can be located far from the church.

The distinction between the two has to do with space. When church graveyards became full, new burial grounds were created outside the city and called “cemeteries.” The word comes from the Greek koimeterion, which means dormitory or resting place.

These sites were created to accommodate mass burials, unlike the old practice of keeping the bodies at home or close to their work place. To avoid erosion and mudslides, the cemetery must have a relatively level topography with a predominant slope. This allows for positive drainage, pedestrian access and headstone placement. The cemetery must also have a single Burial Section with clearly identified limits indicated by Section Markers. The final grading must be designed to achieve one predominant slope across the site.


Most people assume that a graveyard is a place only full of dead people, but it’s actually very much alive. It’s a place where many of us go to walk our dogs, take our kids for a stroll, or just visit our loved ones’ graves and memorials.

Maintaining a grave site isn’t as hard as it may seem. Most grave sites require only a few times a year for cleaning and weeding, and this shouldn’t take more than an hour or so.

During this process, it’s important to use soapy water and never wire brushes or harsh cleaners. These can cause wear and damage to a headstone, and they can also progress corrosion.

Those who manage the maintenance of a cemetery can help with documentation of each burial plot by using field survey sheets, which will help them identify and record accurate inscriptions. They should also prioritize fixing problems like unstable or unbalanced markers, which can be a safety hazard for workers and visitors.

A cemetery is a very important place in any community and needs to be designed with great care. A good cemetery designer will look at the property with a fresh set of eyes and see what is possible for the site.

Cemeteries can be a beautiful, peaceful place to visit or walk through. They can also be used for recreation and provide a variety of ecosystem services.


Cemetery art offers a glimpse into the artistic styles of a particular time. From the intricate etchings of the Victorian era to the simpler designs of modern tombstones, each engraving tells a unique story. This artistic expression also showcases the skills and creativity of the artisans who crafted it.

Similarly, mausoleums and other burial structures offer a view into the architectural style of a specific period. In addition, they often reflect the spiritual beliefs and traditions of a community. This type of architecture can add beauty and meaning to a cemetery.

A well-designed cemetery layout incorporates flowing landscapes to enhance aesthetics and provide comfort to visitors. It should avoid using oversized shrubs, and instead choose plants with natural colors that blend with the background. It is also important to consider how the landscaping will affect mowing lines and maintenance. This is important for maintaining a clean, healthy cemetery. It should also include water features like ponds and fountains for aesthetics and to create a peaceful environment.

Environmentally Friendly

Cemeteries can serve as a natural habitat for a variety of plant species and provide important green space in urban areas. Cemeteries can also act as a place for community gatherings and memorialization of the deceased. However, it’s important to balance these goals with the need for burials and cremation spaces.

A cemetery must be a place of comfort for the living, but also a resting place for the dead. It’s crucial to design a cemetery that has a clear identity and provides a positive experience for visitors.

Modern cemetery design needs to be environmentally friendly. With fewer available burial sites, it’s important to think outside of the box and look for creative ways to solve this problem. Innovative strategies such as tree burial, skyscraper cemetery, eco burial and high technology columbarium can be used to make this happen. These innovative designs will help to change the future of funeral services and make them more sustainable.


The cemetery architecture is an important part of the architectural field. It shows the cultural significance and provides a sense of serenity to the visitors. The design of the cemetery must balance practicality and artistic expressions. It also needs to take into account the changing trends in society.

Modern funerals are increasingly embracing cremation. This trend has created a need for space-efficient and affordable graves. These spaces-saving designs are also environmentally friendly. They can be used as a place of worship and meditation, or as a venue for memorial services.

This soaring high-tech skyscraper cemetery, designed by Kiyoshi Takeyama, is located in Shinjuku’s most valuable land. The design is simple, convenient and cost-effective and includes a temple that combines traditional perspectives with new technology capabilities. It can accommodate a variety of religious beliefs and is a symbol of Japan’s evolving relationship with death and technology. The soaring structure is also energy-efficient and sustainable. Its yearly maintenance fee is less than that of traditional graves.

Master Plan

A cemetery is more than just a resting place for the dead, it is a vibrant celebration of family, history and individuality – within a shared community. Modern Cemetery Design is complex and requires a unique set of skills to create a meaningful experience for families and the community at large.

When a cemetery is looking to renovate or expand, there are many considerations that need to be taken into account. The LA Group can provide a full assessment of the facility to determine what improvements or expansions would best fit the needs of the community.

Cemeteries can also save on maintenance costs by incorporating sustainable designs that minimize future expenses. For example, a permeable pavement instead of asphalt will reduce costly repairs, and the use of organic fertilizers will reduce chemical runoff that can damage gravestones and cause groundwater pollution. These and other simple changes can make a huge difference for a cemetery’s budget.


A cemetery is a place where you can connect with your ancestors. You can also learn about the history of your town. You can even join a guided tour. This will give you the opportunity to explore your local cemetery in detail.

When visiting a cemetery, it is important to be respectful. Keep in mind that this is a quiet, peaceful place. It is also a good idea to be mindful of your voice.

Modern day cemeteries

If you asked most Americans to eat a picnic or go for a run in a cemetery, they would be puzzled and uncomfortable. Yet, the potential for cemeteries to become vibrant parts of the public realm is enormous. With a few changes, they can become places where people visit, play, and gather every day.

The challenge is not just to provide a safe and accessible environment, but also to maintain it in perpetuity. Many older cemeteries have inefficient layouts and a hodgepodge of maintenance practices. For example, old cemetery lawns are often too crowded for large mowers and string trimmers, which can damage headstones and monuments.

In addition, many of the cemetery management duties are traditionally handled by the surviving family or friends. This has contributed to a growing sense of dissatisfaction with cemetery design. Fortunately, some modern cemetery managers are embracing a new approach to management and reimagining their spaces. From art-centric activations to genealogy information and tours of graveyard sculptures, these efforts help to foster community engagement and stewardship.

Traditional cemeteries

A traditional cemetery is a park-like setting reserved for the burial of dead persons and their cremains. These sites are often visited by friends and family members of the deceased, who may leave flowers or other objects at the grave site. Although some cemetery authorities try to limit the quantity and nature of the items placed at a grave, mourning families often ignore these restrictions.

The burial of the dead is a tradition in many cultures. In the past, people were buried in caves, on mountaintops, in lakes or oceans, and even in trees. The modern practice of burying the dead in cemeteries is much more efficient than the earlier methods and is safer for the environment.

The location of a cemetery depends on health and sanitation considerations, cultural practices, religious beliefs and geographical constraints. Some religions consecrate special ground for burial grounds, while others bury their dead in churchyards. Some people build private family cemeteries.

History of cemeteries

In the past, families would seek out small plots of land to establish family cemeteries. A typical graveyard would feature one large monument, often a marble obelisk, with the surname or last name of the family on it and other relatives’ names on smaller stones around it. This allowed people of different faiths to be buried together in the same location.

In ancient times, burial in a cemetery was seen as a great honor. Dutiful Asian sons sent their parents’ bodies back to Japan and China at sometimes enormous expense. People were also buried in special cemeteries for the poor, criminals, or witches.

Today, some people choose to be buried in a natural cemetery. This allows their remains to return to nature more quickly than traditional burials, and it allows for re-use of the cemetery site. However, these cemeteries usually don’t have headstones or markers for individual graves. Instead, GPS recordings or the placing of a tree, bush, or rock mark the exact spot of a deceased person’s grave.

Visiting a cemetery

A cemetery is a solemn and reflective place. Many people visit to pay their respects to loved ones who have passed, and to connect with history and tradition. When visiting a cemetery, it is important to follow certain rules of etiquette. This can help ensure that your visit is a pleasant one for you and others.

It is also a good idea to not litter in a cemetery. This makes more work for the caretakers and is disrespectful to the people who visit there to grieve. Leaving trash at a gravesite can also attract critters and other pests, which is not good for the headstones.

It is also a good idea not to talk loudly in a cemetery. Most people who visit are in a state of grief and may not want to be disturbed by noises. If you do need to interact with other visitors, try to keep it quiet and to only say hello or goodbye.

memorial park

Memorial Park combines the elements of nature, history and commemoration. It is a place for community interaction, exercise and wildlife observation.

A non-denominational sanctuary offers family members a quiet space to remember and grieve for lost loved ones. A birch panel wall mutes outside noise and creates a serene interior.

The History of Memorial Park

Before 1917, the area now known as Memorial Park was a sprawling forest that served as a home for wildlife and Native Americans. Then, the federal government leased it to create Camp Logan, where World War I soldiers were trained for combat.

County workers speedily readied campsites with basic roads and sanitary infrastructure, and by Independence Day 1924 the park was open to the public. Fifty-two trees in an area called Legion Flat were named for local county residents who had died in service of the United States, and the Boy Scouts placed bronze plaques at each tree.

Today, the cemetery is a recreational outdoor gem with miles of multi-use trails, an arboretum, stunning gardens (one designed by a famed Chicago landscape architect), peaceful lagoons, and a majestic mausoleum. Its dignified engraved markers lie flat on beautifully-landscaped plots that maintain an environment less about mourning and more about life celebration. This inviting setting sets families at ease and inspires new traditions of gathering that honor their loved ones’ lives.

The Memorial Walls

The centerpiece of the memorial is a pair of 200-foot long black granite walls that contain more than 58,000 names. In addition to being a powerful symbol of enduring legacy, the design allows visitors to see their own reflections in the engraved names. This helps to connect the dead and living in a way that few other monuments can.

The names include uniformed first responders, as well as auto mechanics, Verizon workers, forensic dentists, architects and many others who worked or volunteered at Ground Zero to help restore the city. The other side of the wall is still empty, allowing family members to place their loved ones’ names there in the future.

A short distance from the wall is a sculpture called Three Servicemen, meant to connect the living with those lost. The site also includes an In Memory plaque for those whose names were not inscribed on the Wall. Each weeknight, staff climb inside the twin pools of the Memorial to give it a top-to-bottom cleaning.

The Peace Statue

Memorial Park is famous for summer fun and winter sledding, but its open, beautiful setting also provides dignity and honor for those who have lost loved ones. The peaceful surroundings set people at ease and encourage families to begin new traditions of gatherings.

The statue was commissioned by local schoolchildren after the death of Sadako Sasaki, and is a symbol of the hope for peace that was inspired by her story. Today, the memorial is visited by millions of visitors from around the world.

The statue is now undergoing a thorough conservation effort, made possible by a state grant that is being match by the town. The Royalston Arts Foundry is conducting the work, and Jeffrey Bronnes, owner of the company, said the work should be completed within a week. He has done yearly maintenance on the sculpture and was responsible for its last conservation about 25 years ago. The statue is the official peace monument of the commonwealth.

The Vietnam War Memorial

Located in the heart of the park, the Vietnam War Memorial commemorates the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty of those who served our nation in the Vietnam Era. The Memorial’s open-air design features black granite walls with a list of names from the conflict.

Each name is accompanied by a symbol that indicates status: missing (on the west wall) or killed in action or died of other causes (on the east wall). The names begin and end at the point where the two walls meet, forming a circle.

The Memorial’s inner ring includes a bronze statue of three servicemen standing together, gazing at the Wall of Names. Originally a third-place winner in the original competition, this sculpture was designed by Frederick Hart and added to the Memorial in 1984. It honors the thousands of women who served in Vietnam as military nurses and civilians, such as doctors, humanitarian aid workers and photojournalists. The Wall of Names and statue are also a stop on the annual Run for the Wall motorcycle rally.

funeral bureau

The funeral bureau licenses and regulates funeral directors, embalmers, apprentice embalmers, cemetery brokers, salespersons, and approximately 200 cemeteries. It also investigates complaints about funeral services and practices.

In addition, funeral directors must be registered with the New York City Department of Health to work in the industry. They must be registered in person at one of two Burial Desks, or via the Internet.


A funeral director or embalmer must be licensed to operate a funeral establishment. To become licensed, the applicant must complete all applicable application forms and pay required fees. He or she must also pass the state law examination and national board exam. The license must be displayed in a conspicuous place at the funeral home or office.

Registrants are required to take continuing education courses and renew their licenses on an ongoing basis. Each state has different requirements for continuing education, but they all require a certain number of hours within a given time period.

In addition to the licensing and registration requirements, all funeral directors and embalmers must obtain a license before removing personal materials from dead human bodies. These materials can include locks of hair, fingerprints, a tissue sample, or DNA.

Applicants must register with the Board prior to removing these items, and they must submit a statement of consent from the person who owns or has control of the body. The registrant must also file a copy of the written consent with the funeral director.


The Board of Funeral Services licenses and regulates funeral homes, embalmers, and cremation businesses. The board investigates complaints and takes disciplinary action when necessary. It also monitors compliance with laws and regulations on consumer rights and treatment of bodies.

Each license expires on September 30 of each year. In order to renew the license, a business must submit an annual report and a filing fee. The report must include a description of the method you plan to use to dispose of cremated remains.

Continuing education requirements are an important part of the licensing process for both funeral directors and embalmers. The Board of Funeral Service requires one hour of continuing education each year that covers either compliance with the laws governing the profession or preneed funeral arrangements. The course should be taught by a licensed funeral director or embalmer. The course may be completed in person or online.

Continuing education

Continuing education is required to maintain the licenses of funeral directors and embalmers. Courses must be directly related to the scope of practice. They cannot be for the principal purpose of promoting, selling or offering any goods, products or services to funeral homes. Courses must be presented by an approved provider. They must include a method acceptable to the board for monitoring the attendance of participants and for verifying that a participant has completed the course.

2024 Course Descriptions:

Master Funeral Director and Master Embalmer licensees must be familiar with the required legal, ethical and regulatory components of their profession. They must be able to communicate these to the apprentices they train and educate. They must also have an understanding of the apprenticeship’s expanded educational concepts and a desire to help mold the candidates slated to carry on their traditions as future leaders in death care. They must be able to communicate these issues in the context of the current culture.

Licensing requirements

There are a number of licensing requirements for funeral directors and embalmers. These vary from state to state. The requirements include completing an apprenticeship and passing national and state licensure examinations. The requirements also include fulfilling ongoing continuing education requirements.

Before starting a mortuary course, prospective students should be aware of any criminal convictions that may affect their eligibility for a license in their state of residence. In some states, misdemeanor and felony convictions disqualify an individual from entering the funeral service profession. Applicants should clear this issue with the relevant state funeral service licensing agency.

In New York, all licensees must register their death certificates with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Vital Records. This process is handled by a Burial Desk in Manhattan or Brooklyn or through the electronic death registration system. Licensed funeral directors, embalmers, and hospitals file these documents. In addition, the Bureau of Funeral Directing requires a resident to perform and handle 40 cases during their residency.


A morgue is a room or area, often in a hospital, where the dead are kept. Most adults have seen a depiction of a morgue in movies or television, but it’s important to remember that this is just a fictionalized version.

In reality, mortuaries are more bare-bones operations than full-service funeral homes. They don’t typically offer any memorial services.

Body Storage

The main function of a mortuary is to temporarily store bodies until they can be identified and an autopsy performed. This can take a few days, and the body must be preserved while this is happening.

Many people are familiar with the depiction of morgues in movies and TV shows, but it’s important to remember that these aren’t always accurate. In reality, a morgue has specific and practical purposes, such as verifying that someone is dead and preparing the body for burial or cremation.

The mortuary should be designed in a way that keeps the dignity of the deceased at all times. It should also have the facility to allow authorised persons to view the dead person and provide them with privacy where required. The mortuary should have a separate Waiting area and Viewing room for family members to meet the body. It should be well connected to the Anatomical Pathology laboratories if provided. It should also be in close proximity to other clinical areas for transportation of laboratory specimens if an Autopsy is performed.


The embalming process is a combination of surgical and cosmetic work that is done to prepare the deceased for viewing as part of a funeral ceremony. Embalming also serves to preserve the body and reduce the decomposition process. In the past, embalming was done with formalin but today it is usually done with alternative non-formaldehyde solutions.

The surgical portion of the embalming begins with the removal of any remaining blood. Next the embalmer will make an incision in the lower abdomen and insert a sharp surgical tool that punctures the organs and abdominal cavity to drain them of fluids and liberate any accumulated gas. The abdomen is then injected with embalming solution and the incision sutured shut.

Once the surgical components are complete, cosmetics are applied to the body and hair is washed and set based on family preferences. Cotton may be placed in the nose and throat to absorb any liquids that seep from the mouth. The eyes are closed with plastic eye caps that sit on the lids or they are glued shut.


A coffin is a wooden container designed to hold a body. It has six sides that are tapered and a flat lid. Traditionally, they were made from wood and lined with cloth interiors. The linings could indicate wealth and status in life: paupers were often put into pine while those who were wealthy would be placed into yew or mahogany with fine liners and brass fittings.

Caskets came into more common use in the 16th century and they are used more frequently for funerals today. Depending on a person’s preferences, a casket can be buried or cremated.

A mortuary is a special room that holds all the fun stuff. It is where all of the embalming chemicals, makeup, trays and tools are kept. There is a tray to put the body on and a little sink, that looks more like a toilet than your regular sink at home, that is used for draining blood and fluids during embalming.


The process of mourning a loved one’s death is a complicated affair and often involves many parties. From arranging funeral services to transporting the body to burial or cremation, it is a task that requires a lot of coordination and attention to detail.

This is why some people may assume that mortuaries are bare-bones operations that only focus on the decedent. However, this is far from the truth. There are several mortuaries such as Myers Mortuary in New York and Hart’s Mortuary in Georgia that provide a wide range of services to their clients.

In addition to basic burial and cremation services, a mortuary can also provide thorough autopsies and simple preparation for viewing. They can also coordinate funeral services and help with memorialization. In some cases, a mortuary can be combined with a crematorium, such as Green Cremation Texas, which offers both onsite cremation and full-service funeral services. The combination of these services helps families save money by avoiding multiple visits to different locations.


A graveyard is a place where people are buried after death. It is usually associated with a church, but it can be independent.

Historically, graveyards were owned by churches and only church members could be buried in them. They also had stringent rules about headstones and inscriptions.

Cemetery is a more modern invention and came about as church-owned graveyards started to run out of space. The word itself is derived from the Latin coemeterium, and ultimately from the Greek koimeterion.


Although many people use the terms graveyard and cemetery interchangeably, they actually mean different things. The difference is that graveyard refers to a burial ground that adjoins a church while cemetery is a separate burial site that is not associated with any particular religion. Graveyards are generally smaller and more confined in their scope, while cemeteries can be much larger. In addition, the rules for headstones in a graveyard tend to be more conservative than those in a cemetery.

In the past, most people were buried in graveyards located on the church grounds. Nobles and the rich were buried in crypts beneath their places of worship. The rest of the population was buried in graveyards that were divided by social status. Mourners often paid to have their loved ones buried with a headstone, which was engraved with a name and date of death along with other biographical information. These stone markers were also a symbol of wealth and social status.


A graveyard is a piece of land where people are buried after they die. It’s often associated with a church or religion. The term has also been used to describe the final resting place of someone who is not a member of a particular faith.

Traditionally, churches were the only places where people were buried. However, as populations began to grow, churchyards ran out of space. As a result, new burial grounds that weren’t connected to any particular church or religion emerged. These sites became known as cemeteries.

Many people use the terms graveyard and cemetery interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. A graveyard is a piece of land that is specifically designed for burials, while a cemetery is simply a section of a church’s property. Cemeteries are usually larger than graveyards and are better organized. They may also be separated into sections based on religion. A graveyard is often considered more sacred than a cemetery.


The word graveyard comes from the Proto-Germanic words graban (to dig) and gardan (enclosed land). It was common for wealthy and influential Middle Ages Christians to be laid to rest in their church, often in a crypt beneath the floor. However, less privileged members of the congregation were often buried in the churchyard.

Over time, it became apparent that graveyards were overcrowded. As a result, people began to look for new places to bury the dead. This led to the development of garden cemeteries.

The big clue that a graveyard is different from a cemetery is the fact that the latter is not associated with a specific religion. It also usually has a lot of rules in place, because there was more thought put into this area than just digging holes and burying people. The term is sometimes confused with a grave or cemetery, but the biggest difference between them is that the former is usually located adjacent to a church while the latter is not.


Graveyard is a very effective defensive card in long matchups, as it stalls many units and can be used to get value out of splash cards. It works particularly well with units that can take out multiple Skeletons at once, such as the Valkyrie and the Lumberjack. It also pairs well with splash damage units, such as the Princess and Ice Wizard.

It is also effective against units that deal spell damage, as they can be killed by a few Skeletons, as well as units with high hitpoints and fast attack speeds, such as the Archers and Dart Goblins. It can also work well with a tank, as the Skeletons can distract the opponent while the tank deals damage to their Tower.

A common counter to Graveyard is Poison, as it prevents the Skeletons from triggering. Therefore, it is important to have at least one reliable Poison bait in your deck, such as a Valkyrie or a Witch.

Cemetery Design

Saying goodbye to loved ones is a personal experience and the cemetery design must respond sensitively.

Good design increases value and revenue. Burial plots with beautiful views or proximity to memorial park features can command premiums.

Modern cemetery design thinks beyond a place to lay a grave. It celebrates life, family, history, and individuality.

Landscape Design

A cemetery should be a beautiful place. It should be a place of healing and comfort, but it should also be a vibrant celebration of life, family, history and individuality – all integrated within a shared community. This takes a special kind of know-how.

It’s often a challenge to make a cemetery feel like a natural setting, especially when working with challenging landscapes. Historically, cemetery development has been based on laying out graves as efficiently as possible and then landscaping. The result has been empty and homogenous expanses that lack differentiation.

Whether creating water-retaining ponds or planting flowers, shrubs and trees that reflect the lives of those interred there, careful planning can create a unique, healing, and comforting space. Using plants that are low maintenance helps to alleviate the cost of caring for graves and allows family members to demonstrate their love and care for their loved ones. Adding shade and reducing wind speed helps to provide comfort to visitors who may be attending committal services during cold weather.

Master Plan

Cemetery master planning includes a detailed site plan and landscape design. This process helps a client identify short and long term needs and develop a logical and realistic implementation plan for various projects.

A cemetery master plan can unlock new revenue opportunities for the business and increase the value of the property. WC Fry Design is familiar with the unique, religious setting of cemeteries and has experience working in all types of burial grounds including Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran and Muslim.

The resulting landscape design provides a more natural appearance, reduced maintenance, easier mowing and enhances the overall aesthetic. We also work with clients to establish cemetery layouts, plot designs and numbering plans that accommodate traditional casketed burials and cremation graves. We have worked on a number of expansions, new sections and master plans for both traditional burial and mausoleum grounds. During the master planning process, we can make sure that all utility systems are properly sized to minimize costly system replacements in the future.

Architectural Design

Cemeteries are a cultural landscape in which many communities commemorate their dead. That’s why cemetery design needs a delicate touch.

It is important to choose materials that blend in with natural surroundings and avoid flashy colors. The use of organic shapes, textures and materials will help create a calming environment for the families.

Ideally, the cemetery design should reflect a culture’s aesthetics and philosophy. It should also include a chapel or monuments that serve all faiths. The design should also be environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.

As with any project, the design should be based on a thorough understanding of the client’s needs. This may require extensive research on a variety of topics, including cultural history and architectural style. In addition, the design must be able to accommodate current and future burial options. For example, it should be able to accommodate cremation and above ground casket burials. The design should also take into account the location of the site, soil conditions and surrounding vegetation.

Site Planning

Often a cemetery is situated on a unique site that offers opportunities for special landscape features or the creation of a focal point. These can be utilized to “value add” to the surrounding land and create an aesthetically pleasing environment for mourners.

Developing a master plan is a key component in the overall cemetery design process. It provides a clear understanding of short and long term objectives, optimizes land utilization and improves the overall aesthetic of a cemetery.

A cemetery’s landscape must be well planned for drainage, mowing lines and overall flow. Careful selection of plantings for climate, soil conditions and flow helps to reduce maintenance costs and enhance the natural setting. It is also important to consider the cemetery’s visitor demographic as the location of the entrance and parking areas are key factors in making your cemetery easy for visitors to navigate.

The word cemetery derives from the Greek koimeterion, meaning “sleeping place.” Unlike churchyard burials that were often overcrowded, today’s cemeteries are usually expansive landscapes far away from town and city centers.

Choosing a cemetery starts with thinking about your loved ones who have passed on. Will they be close to family and friends?


A grave is an enclosed burial space. It may be an open pit or a vaulted structure. In some cultures, a grave is associated with an altar or a place of ritualistic worship.

Graves are usually marked with durable markers that help to identify a buried person. They are generally located within a cemetery, where they provide access to burial information and services.

In earlier times, many people were buried in common graves. These plots were used to bury people who did not have the means to purchase a grave with private burial rights. This was a cheaper way to inter a body.

Often these older graves are forgotten and not visited. It can be difficult to locate living descendants of these families. This can complicate the process of re-using the older graves. This is why it is important for a cemetery to publicly announce any plans for re-using old graves so that living relatives have an opportunity to respond.


A headstone, sometimes referred to as a tombstone or gravestone, is an important memorial marker that helps preserve the memory of your loved one. It displays their name, birth and death dates, and can include a special message that celebrates their personality and life.

There are several types of headstones, including flat grave markers, traditional uprights and slants. Flat headstones lie flat on the ground and are usually rectangular in shape. Upright headstones have a base and a die (also known as a tablet) that is placed on top to display the deceased’s information. Upright headstones can be single or companion based on the wishes of the deceased’s family.

It is important to understand that cemeteries often have restrictions in place for the size, type and material of headstones. They may also limit the dealers you can purchase a headstone from. In some cases, the cemetery will even say they will not accept a headstone purchased from another dealer.


Purchasing a monument is an emotional burden for grieving loved ones. They are already dealing with planning the funeral, writing obituaries and taking care of themselves during this difficult time. Purchasing a memorial ahead of time can help ease this stress and ensure that the family’s wishes are carried out.

Monuments come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are often larger than headstones and can depict anything from angels and saints to lions and other animals. They can also include religious symbols, inscriptions and other personal details.

Monuments need to be regularly cleared of vegetation growing around and on them. This can prevent damage to the structure and also allow you to assess if it needs work. Vegetation growth can obscure hazards such as loose sculpture and unstable structures. Clearing should not be carried out in the bird nesting season and consideration should be given to how to manage the areas once they are clear.


Historically, the cemetery has been responsible for the allocation and sale of physical burial rights such as plots or crypts, the digging and filling of graves, staffing for funerals and the ongoing maintenance of grounds and facilities. This includes removing debris, trimming and pruning trees, raking leaves and pulling weeds.

Grave excavations are usually a labor intensive process that must be done by trained individuals. This is necessary to ensure the grave has been dug at the correct depth, to reduce potential damage from heavy visitors and to avoid legal liability from an uncovered or improperly dug grave.

As cemeteries become full, it becomes impossible for the staff to provide detailed attention to each individual gravesite. Many families opt to have a private company tend their loved ones’ gravesites throughout the year, providing them with the level of care they deserve. This also allows the family to focus on their own needs without worrying about the maintenance of their tomb.

A memorial park provides visitors with an atmosphere of natural beauty, peace for quiet meditation and a sense of dignity and honor to the memory of loved ones. Each grave is marked with a dignified sculptured bronze marker which lies flat on the ground instead of upright like the competing headstones found in traditional cemeteries.

The Memorial Walls

In the center of the Memorial Park stands the Memorial Wall, a shining black granite monument. Its reflective surface mirrors the surrounding trees, grass and monuments to create a quiet protected place of reflection. Maya Lin chose polished black granite to evoke feelings of enduring legacy, healing and education. Each of the two 200-foot-long sections contains 58,000 names, inscribed on 70 separate panels. The names are arranged chronologically by dates of casualty, beginning and ending in the center of the Memorial Wall where the two sections meet.

A Memorial Walk accompanies The Wall, providing an access route to the Memorial Sections. The space allows veterans organizations and others to donate memorial monuments in honor of specific groups, units or campaigns. These are placed on walls designated for this purpose.

The Gold Star Monument

In honor of the local Gold Star Families, this monument provides a place of permanence for them. It also demonstrates that their community cares for them and appreciates the ultimate sacrifice paid by their Loved Ones.

The memorial consists of a gold star mounted within a black granite circle. In the center is a soldier saluting. It is a first of its kind in the nation.

Representatives from America’s Gold Star Families spoke to the Village Council at a work session on Sept. 8. They sought approval to send out an RFP and begin fundraising for the monument. The Council unanimously approved the request. The Committee will be submitting the formal resolution to the Council for approval at its regular public meeting on Oct. 9.

The Vietnam War Monument

Located in Suffolk County, this memorial park is a place of healing and reconciliation. The monument commemorates all veterans who served in the war, as well as those who died, and it was built to help heal veterans of the traumas they experienced during that time.

Lin’s design included two black granite walls that came together, engraved with the names of those who died or were declared missing in action. The names begin and end at the center of the memorial, creating a circle that conveys just how overwhelming the casualty total was.

The Three Servicemen statue stands nearby, depicting men in a moment of crisis. The In Memory plaque was added on Veterans Day, 2004 to honor the names of soldiers who were not eligible for inscription on The Wall.

The Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree is a symbol of hope and resilience at the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Originally planted in the 1970s, the callery pear tree was discovered charred with one branch still alive in the rubble after 9/11. It was nursed back to health at Arthur Ross Nursery in the Bronx and returned to Ground Zero in 2010.

Now a thriving 30 feet tall, the Survivor Tree offers shade to visitors and serves as a reminder that there is life after tragedy. To honor those who lost their lives, the Memorial Park gives seedlings of the Survivor Tree to communities affected by terror attacks and natural disasters around the world. Each year, the Memorial Park also hosts a ceremony where the tree is replanted.

The Peace Statue

Unlike traditional cemeteries that use vertical monuments, memorial parks offer flat, dignified engraved markers and landscaped plots. These grounds are designed to maintain a park-like setting to promote an uplifting atmosphere for services that are less about mourning and more about life celebrations.

The Peace Statue in the center of Memorial Park honors children from around the world who died from radiation-induced leukemia. The statue is surrounded by thousands of origami cranes offered by people who visit to remember Sadako and pray for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The statue sculpted by Seward Johnson re-creates the kiss heard ’round the world that a sailor gave a nurse in Times Square to celebrate V-J Day. The traveling sculpture has drawn criticism from those who think it represents a sexual assault or is kitschy.