This is a Cemetery

Lives are commemorated - deaths are recorded - families are reunited -
memories are made tangible - and love is undisguised.
This is a cemetery.

Communities accord respect, families bestow reverence, historians seek
information and our heritage is thereby enriched.

Testimonies of devotion, pride and remembrance are carved in stone to pay
warm tribute to accomplishments and to the life - not death - of a loved one.
The cemetery is homeland for family memorials that are a sustaining source
of comfort to the living.

A cemetery is a history of people - a perpetual record of yesterday and a
sanctuary of peace and quiet today. A cemetery exists because every life is
worth loving and remembering - always.

You will find these words quoted in literally hundreds of genealogical publications and websites and posted on the walls of cemetery offices across North America. It appears in several different forms, with different titles, and with the portions either added or deleted as it suits the user. Although the author of the passage is usually listed as "unknown" or "anonymous" more than one person has written to me claiming to know who the author is.

It is most probable, however, that these words were penned by one Mary Lou Brannon who wrote the passage in the 1970s for The Monument Builders of North America. Mrs Brannon and her husband Vince purchased the Brannon Monument Company which has been a family run business that has been in operation since 1961.

Whatever the source, and whoever the author, these words continue to remind us of the importance of cemeteries and their preservation.