Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cemetery Field Trip

I know right? What says 'field trip' like a cemetery?

I'm morbid I suppose, but I love old cemeteries. I wonder about all the lives of all the people we encounter. I love the epitaphs and tombstone carvings and peace and quiet.

We went on a field trip yesterday with some fellow homeschoolers to a local cemetery to learn about the different symbols on head stones and mausoleums.  We saw some graves of historic figures and learned about our areas history as well. I truly learned so much more than I was bargaining for.

A century ago people had such a solid understanding of Christianity, indicated by the symbolism everywhere.  Maybe that's what is so nice about those old cemeteries...people were certain their loved ones were with Christ when they passed from this world.

I wish I would have remembered to bring a camera.

Anyway, after we left our field trip, we decided to drive to Milledgeville, Georgia and make a stop by the old cemetery over there. Here's the back-story:

A month or so ago we attended a field trip at the Atlanta History Center. It was an interactive field trip about the Civil War, and at one point each child was assigned a real Civil War soldier to portray during the field trip.  My daughter was assigned Edwin Jemison, whose picture is shown above. He was only 16 when he went off to fight..and only 17 when he was decapitated by a cannonball. 

Like good little homeschoolers we came home and did a little research on our soldiers...and found out that Edwin Jemison was from Milledgeville and buried there.

So, yesterday we made the trip to pay homage to him.

After the excitement of actually finding his grave, a somber mood hit us all. 

It suddenly became very 'real' for us.  Nothing is more sobering than words and dates carved in marble on a tombstone.

I silently thanked him for his patriotism.  He wasn't much older than my son. He even looks a little like my son.

We left his grave with a better sense of the reality of war.  That the Civil War really happened.  Young boys really died.  Here, in our 'backyard'.  Thousands of them.

I think we all learned a lot more than we even thought we would.

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