Graveyard

Graveyard
Cedar Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stars: Divine Guidance and Proof of Patriotism



A Star at the top of each tombstone, Mount Joy Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
 
Stars appear on gravestones in several forms.  I have seen many five-pointed stars that are reminiscent of the stars on the United States flag.  In some cases (especially on early twentieth century stones for WWI veterans), they represent military service and the patriotism of the deceased.  In other cases, a single star may represent the North Star, one used by sea captains to navigate.  More likely, the single star is the Star of the East that guided the Magi to Bethlehem when Christ was born.

The most interesting stars to me are those found on Pennsylvania German tombstones.  They can be simple six-pointed stars, made by crossing three lines.  Or they can be four-pointed stars, which I think really resemble the Star of the East.  They can be crudely carved or executed with much skill.  Sometimes they are carved within a circle, like a compass symbol, although according to the "Stones of Faith" website (www.pagstones.com), a flower was also denoted by Pennsylvania Germans as a star-like symbol within a circle.  It is difficult sometimes to decipher the symbol, and some of them might be a shining sun.  (Sun and sunflower symbols will be shown next week).

I like the idea of stars on tombstones serving as guiding lights for the deceased.  Enjoy.

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Christ Church Cemetery, Shrewsbury, NJ

Delaware Water Gap Cemetery, Delaware Water Gap, PA

In the star: "In Our Country's Service"  East Bangor Cemetery, East Bangor, PA

Edgewood Cemetery, Pottstown, PA

All kinds of symbols here, Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, WV

Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, WV

Fairview Cemetery, Middletown, NJ

Star on top of the ivy Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Forks Cemetery, Stockertown, PA

Star on top of her head.  Pagan deities used to be represented with stars on the foreheads.  Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Hays Cemetery, Easton, PA

Hays Cemetery, Easton, PA

Hays Cemetery, Easton, PA

Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, NY

Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA

Montrose Cemetery, Montrose, PA

Moravian High Acres Cemetery, Canandensis, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

A Star over the entrance to the Gates of Heaven, New Hanover Lutheran Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

New Hanover Lutheran Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Pleasant Valley, PA

Prospect Hill Cemetery, Peckville, PA  (with a friend)

St. Joseph's German Cemetery, Jim Thorpe, PA

Tannersville Union Cemetery, Tannersville, PA

Newtown Cemetery, Newtown, PA

I know this is a more recent stone (they died in1964 and 1970), but I think it shows the everlasting power of the symbol of the star.  Stockport Cemetery, Stockport, PA

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Taneytown, MD

Tunkhannock Cemetery, Tunkhannock, PA

Bethany Presbyterian Cemetery, Bethany, PA

Ahhhh...need to find out more about this memorial.  Easton Cemetery, Easton, PA

Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Greenwood Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Not sure if this is a star or a stylized flower or a sun.  Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Twp., PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Twp., PA

Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Twp., PA

Plains Mennonite Cemetery, Lansdale, PA

St. Johns UCC Cemetery, Howertown, PA

Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Taneytown, MD

Trinity UCC Cemetery, Boonsboro, MD

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

West Swamp Mennonite Cemetery, Quakertown, PA

Line Lexington Mennonite, Line Lexington, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

New Hanover Lutheran Cemetery, Gilbertsville, PA

New Goshenhoppen Union Cemetery, East Greenville, PA

South Canaan Cemetery, East Canaan, PA

St. Paul's Blue Church Cemetery, Coopersburg, PA

A wreath of stars, the best I could read on the inside was R.U.H.F., about which I cannot find any information yet.  This tombstone is in William Penn Cemetery in Philadelphia, a cemetery for Quakers.  Edmund Wells was a stone mason who died from typhoid fever in 1872 at age 26.





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