Visiting The Dead

... for people who love cemeteries.

UPDATE: Damage to NJ Cemetery

It didn't take long to find the little creeps.

From the Asbury Park Press:

Teens held in damage at New Brunswick cemetery
Four teenage boys were arrested Wednesday night in connection with the recent desecration of Poile Zedek Cemetery, authorities announced. The four teens, city residents aged 15 through 17, are suspected of toppling nearly 500 headstones in two waves of vandalism at the Joyce Kilmer Avenue burial ground used by two area synagogues.

... there is little to indicate that the juveniles specifically targeted the Jewish community, a joint press release from Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and city Police Deputy Director Anthony Caputo said.

Three of the juveniles, identified as being aged 15, 16 and 17, are suspected of pushing over 17 granite headstones around New Year's Day, according to investigators. The three are believed to have returned to the cemetery with a fourth person, aged 16, on Sunday and pushed over several hundred more headstones, at least one of which weighed over 4,000 pounds. About 60 of the monuments were fractured beyond repair.

The executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, Gerrie Bamira ... said she was encouraged by the support, financial and otherwise, that has poured in this week. On Thursday, within hours of sending out fundraising e-mails locally, Bamira said, the federation received dozens of donations that will go toward the cemetery's restoration, where about 15 burials take place each year.

People can contribute to the fund by visiting

-- Caspra

Merv Griffin is still making people laugh.


Hollywood legend Merv Griffin is still getting laughs — from beyond the grave.

As one of his final wishes, the late talk show king asked that his granite grave stone bear this tongue-in-cheek inscription: "I will not be right back after this message." Now his irreverent last words are drawing crowds to the tiny Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles — which is also the last resting place of Hollywood legends Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Carroll O'Connor and Jack Lemmon.

Told that Merv is still getting laughs in the graveyard, his company spokesperson Marcia Newberger told The ENQUIRER: "Merv would have wanted it exactly that way." Merv died Aug. 12 at age 82 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He left a $1 billion estate — and a legacy of smiles.

-- Caspra

Extensive Damage to NJ Cemetery

One of the top news stories in the NJ/NY area the last few days has been the extensive damage done to a Jewish cemetery in New Brunswick, NJ by vandals. From the [NJ] Star-Ledger:


"Hundreds of headstones were overturned at a New Brunswick cemetery largely used by two synagogues, authorities said today. Police believe the acts of vandalism were committed over two different days. On Wednesday people found 17 headstones knocked over at the Poile Zedek Cemetery on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, but hundreds more were found overturned at 8:55 a.m. Sunday, police said. A total of 499 headstones were overturned."

According to
an article in the N.Y. Times:
With some of the stones weighing more than 2,000 pounds, New Brunswick police said the rampage had involved more than one person and taken several hours.

Jack Oziel, a member of Etz Ahaim whose parents’ tombstones were shattered, said the synagogue was organizing a fund-raising event to replace the gravestones in cases in which there were no surviving family members.

“Some of these people died 50 or 70 years ago, and there are no survivors,” said Mr. Oziel, 92. “So it becomes the synagogue’s problem. We have to remember these people, and the only way we can do it is by righting these stones.”

A half-dozen members of the New Brunswick Police Department tried to right some of the stones that had been toppled but not broken. “A lot of family members are coming here,” said Lieutenant Mangarella, calling the overturned stones a terrible thing to see. “If we can prop them up and give them a little relief, we will.”

Our condolences go out to the families who are suffering as a result of this senseless destruction.

-- Caspra

Being a computer geek …

... this image always makes me smile. I'm sure that "Reformat" really is their family name and that the stone was carved long before hard drives were routinely formatted and RE-formatted. But it still strikes me as funny. (From a cemetery in NW Indiana.)

-- Caspra


How can one not be touched by this lovely stone?

(From a Catholic cemetery in NW Indiana.)

-- Caspra


This one has always haunted me

This family lost two children in two years. The first, a son, was born in 1973 and lived just 8 hours. The next year, a girl survived only 15 hours.

I want to know how these babies died. But even more I want to know what happened to the parents in the years that followed. Did they ever have a healthy child that lived to adulthood? How did they deal with their grief? Were they able to have anything close to a normal life, in spite of their loss? (From a Catholic cemetery in NW Indiana.)

-- Caspra

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