It’s been a very long time, but here I am again at the Eastmanville Farm, in the cemetery enjoying the solitude. Maybe it’s better said that I am appreciating the solitude in such a location as this cemetery. While my wife is busy painting the view overlooking the farm, I am again pondering the men and women; the residents and the keepers; and the boys and the girls who lived here. But especially those who died here and were buried here. The first time that I was here left an impression on me that has never left. I have this sadness for all those dead and forgotten by mankind. Untold multitudes in marked graves, but forgotten; those in unmarked earthen graves and forgotten; those in the watery graves of the oceans with their forgotten! So is the fate of most of mankind.
So here I sit on a bench in this restored resting ground, overlooking all the one foot tall concrete pylons which now mark the known graves. There are only four gravestones here, originals from the time of the burials. Four known people in the midst of many unknowns, whose existence is marked with a pylon. There is a memorial plaque with sixty-four names on it. A record of those known to have been buried here at the “POOR FARM”. At the bottom of these names is the sad observation that “others may be buried here”.
According to a beautiful and ancient Jewish custom, I put a small stone on each pylon and gravestone here. I also put a larger stone on the big memorial on behalf of all who were buried here…the known and the unknown.
Though I never knew any of you, today I remember all of you.