The internet helps people not only in all aspects of life, but also in death. Recent technological advancements have improved upon traditional memorial methods, allowing people to pay respects in ways that were never before available.
History reports that the Puritans introduced the idea of grave markers on the American continent sometime during the 16th century. These grave markers foreshadowed a bleak afterlife and served as warnings for the living. They were constructed of wood or rough stones, and were not intended to survive the ages or memorialize the deceased.
Several centuries later, during the 1800s, communities began constructing peaceful, park-like graveyards. Unlike the earliest American grave markers, these headstones evolved into modes of memorializing and respecting the dead. These headstones depicted more positive messages and identified the people buried beneath them. They were also constructed of more long-lasting materials, such as granite and marble.
Memorializing the Deceased
Even though survivors began memorializing their deceased loved ones as early as the 19th century, mystery still shrouds some older headstones. This is because, despite better headstone materials and thoughtful inscriptions, weathering and wear still take tolls on the monuments. Furthermore, a headstone's inscription seldom includes details about the deceased person's legacy. Thus, a cemetery visitor may glean from a headstone the deceased person's name, birth date, and death date, but little more.
How the Internet Helps Keep a Deceased Person's Legacy Alive
- Online Cemetery Libraries: Several internet websites offer free search engines that let viewers look up where a particular deceased person is buried, where people in the same family tree are buried, and who is buried in a certain unknown spot. Some religious organizations have websites that show where people within a particular faith are buried. The Arlington National Cemetery and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs also have websites that assist in locating the final resting places of American soldiers. These websites not only help survivors locate loved ones' burial locations, but also allow survivors that cannot physically visit the grave site view it online.
- QR Codes: In 2010, smart phones began recognizing "QR codes," which are barcodes that, when read through a cell phone sensor, redirect the phone's browser to a certain website. As QR codes grow in popularity and effectiveness, cemeteries and headstone artisans are increasingly turning to the technology as an additional way to memorialize the deceased. Survivors of the deceased can inscribe a QR code on the headstone, and then customize the website linked to that QR code. The website linked to the headstone's QR code can include detailed information about the deceased, and can even include a guestbook so that visitors to the gravesite can "check in" and leave an online memorial message.
If you want to know more, try contacting a company such as Genesis Granite with your questions and concerns.