Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Día de Muertos

On my work trips to Washington DC, one of the places I have always wanted to visit (haven't gotten there yet though) is Arlington Cemetery. But recently I have been thinking that I live near our National Cemetery and I hadn't even gone there yet.

So this past weekend and prompted by an article about Beechwood Cemetery that came up on my Facebook news feed, the dogs and I went for a walk to honour the dead. Beechwood is a very large non-denominational cemetery that also is the home to Canadian Forces National Cemetery and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cemetery.

It was cold with some rain showers so rather than making it a long walk, I drove to the far end and then did a number of short walks, driving the car back down to the entrance I had used.

Beechwood Chapel

View of the older part of the cemetery
The RCMP Cemetery and the Canadian Forces Cemetery are far more orderly in the placement of their headstones. There was a sign at the Canadian Forces cemetery that you could not leave flowers or other remembrances but I saw stones that had things left. I guess that's hard to control.

Entrance of the RCMP Cemetery

RCMP Headstones

Entrance to the Military National Cemetery

Looking Back towards the entrance

Military Headstones

Another sector of the Canadian Forces Cemetery
I sort of enjoy walking through a cemetery to look at the headstones, to see how old the people were and to see what members of the family were laid to rest together. In the military and RCMP cemeteries, however I didn't feel like I should break those ranks. I stayed to the walkways and along the outside. I have walked through a war cemetery in Holland and it was so sobering to see the ages of all those young men.

At Beechwood, there were many statues , gazebos, arbours and even the pagoda in the Chinese part of the cemetery. I found that funny, there are areas of the cemetery for various faiths and ethnicities, Polish, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese, even in death we divide people or because we still want to be with our own. Whatever our own is?

As a retired military member I can be buried in the National Cemetery for the Canadian Forces. I guess someday I'll have to decide if that's what I would like.

It was rather cold this past weekend and the flowers were not yet in bloom so maybe we'll have to go back some other weekend to honour the dead to see the cemetery in full bloom and all green. I did find a cute stone that would work for Keltic, perhaps I could get one for the front yard. There might be other unique stones or memorials to discover.



  1. It's absolutely gorgeous and so peaceful.

  2. I love cemeteries. This one is simply gorgeous! I love the pagoda especially. It is strange that we divide ourselves even in death as you said. I never really thought about that.

    I've been to Arlington, but I was only 13. I really should make a trip back there.


We love to get your comments on our activities. Please drop us a line.