Friday, July 7, 2017

CRPT Conference cemetery day in Huguenot Cemetery
Why are these people pointing at a headstone?

Recording lesson in Huguenot Cemetery
 Why are these people walking around a cemetery?

Photogrammetry lesson in Huguenot Cemetery
Why are these people listening to this guy?

Representative Cyndi Stevenson opening remarks at this year's CRPT Conference
Why would people fill up a room to hear talks about cemeteries?

Last month, FPAN hosted the third CRPT (Cemetery Resource Protection Training) Conference at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.  The room above was filled with seventy people who took two days out of their lives to learn and share ideas about cemetery preservation and protection.  

A question we are frequently asked is: "WHY DO CEMETERIES MATTER?"  We figured who better to pose this question to than our CRPT Conference attendees!  We received many different answers which we posted on the wall:

We discovered that CEMETERIES MATTER BECAUSE....

..... they honor people who did not make the history books

.... they are living museums that spark interest in family and community history

.... you can find lost ancestors

.... they have much to say about peoples, cultures and societies

.... they allow our imagination to place ourselves in a past that would otherwise be one dimensional

.... they're awesome

..... they're beautiful

.... they are places of rest for the dead and places of reflection for the living

.... they are tangible evidence of the past

.... maintaining cemeteries keeps communities safe, overgrown cemeteries can promote crime

.... they provide wildlife refuges and green spaces for cities

.... heritage adds to our sense of place and to the human experience

.... every tombstone has a story to tell

The above list is just a sampling of their answers which ranged from archaeological, historical, environmental, practical, to deeply personal.  Self-interest factors in as another reason to protect the final resting places of the deceased for its only a matter of time before we inevitably join their ranks.

"It's a funny old world - a man's lucky if he gets out of it alive."
    -   W. C. Fields

If you have a reason why cemeteries matter to you, email me at and I'll add your reason to our growing list!

Photos and text by FPAN Staff, Robbie Boggs

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