Children’s graves IV

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As the sun was shining abundantly I thought it was a wonderful day for a trip to the cemetery. This time I went to Roermond, to the so called ‘old cemetery’ – den aje kirkhaof in the local dialect. Put into use in 1785, it is one of the oldest public cemeteries in the Netherlands. What makes the place exceptional is the fact that the divisions (walls) between the various plots (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish old & new, non-religious) are still intact. I was told that since 1948 only sporadically people have been buried here, although it officially was reopened for burials in 2010. The lack of relatively new graves makes this cemetery more dead than most as there are hardly any (material) signs of grave visits. Although there are many impressive grave monuments –museum quality-  the personal touch of the bereaved is missing. But there is one exception: the children’s graves…

Walking along the walls of the Catholic part I was struck by the number of children’s graves – stemming from the 1900’s to the 1960’s, with a peak in 1940’s. Many graves still carry signs of grave visits in the form or flowers (fresh and plastic), toys, little angels and some butterflies. Some simply stand out because they are so well-kept.


 

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