While blog touring for Swept Away, I wrote a guest post for Annalisa Crawford's blog about the British Cemetery on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina (read that post here). In doing research for that post, I learned there was another British cemetery- this one on Hatteras Island in Buxton, North Carolina.
In a nut shell, during WWII the British Navy patrolled American waters to keep our shores safe. Unfortunately, several British sailors paid that ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Their bodies couldn't be shipped back home, so the island residents buried these heroes and tended to the graves throughout the passing decades.
During my vacation to the island this summer, I made sure to visit the Hatteras cemetery.
The difference between the two? The Hatteras site's headstones were covered in small trinkets, stones, and seashells. My nephew, Jay, was sight-seeing with me. He has an interest in grave yards and the differences in burials in varying cultures and time periods, so he had an explanation.
He told me it was a Jewish custom to place pebbles or stones on graves, and his guess was people were tweaking this tradition in order to show tribute to these heroes by using shells and trinkets.
I thought this was interesting, so I came home and looked it up.
Jay was right. It is a Jewish tradition to leave pebbles and stones- like at the end of Shindler's List.
Ah-ha, now the ending makes total sense.
The Hebrew word for pebble is tz'ror which also translates to bond. A pebble or stone signifies a permanent, steadfast bond.
That sure makes more sense to me than flowers.
Speaking of excellent tales that involve graves...
C. Lee McKenzie's new book about a group of young adventurers is an A+ read! It's about a group of friends who find a mysterious crypt that may hold a clue to a treasure. This is a godsend to the boys because one of their crew is about to be shipped off to boarding school. This is a delightful story about the solidarity of friendship and the thrill of adventure.
Sign of the Green Dragon
Now, for my good things!
2. I've been a horrible blogger this summer, but I've been a good reader. Now, I just need to get them all reviewed!
3. I'm headed to Akron, Ohio for the Ohio Expos this Saturday. I was born in Barberton, Ohio- a town not far from Akron- so I'll get a chance to see some of my family while I'm there. I'm sure I'll have pictures to share next week.