Friday, July 10, 2009

More from Alsip, Illinois (update on Scam and Scandal in Illinois)

Update on yesterday's post: CNN is reporting that police have arrested Carolyn Towns, Keith Nicks, Terrance Nicks and Maurice Daley. The count of disturbed graves is up to 300 and families coming to the cemetery to check on their loved ones graves. Some families have visited graves only to find a new headstone with a different name in place. CNN also reports that Emmet Till's original coffin has been found at the graveyard in a storage building, however, he was buried in a new coffin following a 2005 exhumation. CNN's headline is a little misleading, it doesn't appear that his grave has been disturbed since 2005. Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

While I understand that people inevitably mourn the loss of a friend or family member, the idea of cemeteries is pretty archaic and a waste of real estate. They're dead; they have no interests. What does burying them in a specific spot matter? Even if they had a soul it would not be trapped in a 6X10X3 foot space, right?

Jonathan said...

In this case, these individuals purchased a plot in perpetuity and that was essentially stolen from them. Sure, we can argue the metaphysics of the existence or non-existence of souls and their tie to the physical form but this is a pretty clear cut case of theft that also ties into some pretty strong cultural concepts.

Something to keep in mind is that cemeteries are for the living - they're meant to provide not only a place to safely dispose of a body, but to provide rememberance and a space that is set aside for grieving and healing. The modern cemetery also draws from a park-like heritage as expressed in the Rural Cemetery movement and later the Memorial Garden. Basically, they're no more a waste of space than any other land use. They provide a green space, fulfill a cultural need, and can serve as a historical record.