Friday, November 14, 2008

Are double-decker graves a threat to history?

I recently read a news article which reported that Great Britain will start an 18-month trial of creating double-decker graves. They will dig graves deeper, allowing for room to bury another person on top of the elder. Graves to be chosen for stacking would be 100 years old and older. This will create additional burial plots where at present, space is at a premium or non-existent.

You can read the article, "Double-decker graves set for go-ahead," at Ananova's website.

What is my opinion of this practice? Frankly, I'm appalled.

How are they going to determine which graves will be selected to stack? Perhaps they will exempt historical or famous figures and leave their graves intact. In my opinion, stacking another person on top of a historical figure would be an assault on history. Yet, does this leave those who are not well-known open to mandatory stacking and amount to a form of discrimination as compared to a historical person?

Even the old gravestones are not protected in this plan. The additional person's name would be added or gravestones would be taken away.

I realize that we Americans have a different attitude toward our dead than other cultures around the world, and we have lots of space for graveyards as well. However, it just seems to me that this is a threat to history especially in a country like Great Britain where not only paper and ink historical records need to be preserved, but also the human remains along with those records. I would think this would extend to their grave sites as well. If we or our families so choose, each of us should have a little piece of planet Earth, however small but all to ourselves, as our final resting place, and it should be allowed to remain sacred for that purpose throughout the generations. There has to be another solution to the problem. Any kind of mass grave, for me, conjures up scenes of disrespect at the very least.

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