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Cemeteries Are Running Out of Room - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com

Too Many Bodies, Too Little Space

DEBATERS Christopher Coutts A Lifetime After the Baby Boom, a Burial Boom CHRISTOPHER COUTTS, PROFESSOR OF URBAN PLANNING Richard Moylan Country Plots and Alternative Spaces RICHARD MOYLAN, GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY Melinda Hunt A Respectful Approach for Unclaimed Bodies MELINDA HUNT, HART ISLAND PROJECT Moona Taslim Minimizing Costs, When Burial Is Required MOONA TASLIM, HAJI TASLIM FUNERALS Oliver Peacock Instead of Urban Sprawl, Create a Forest OLIVER PEACOCK, WOODLAND BURIALS Charles Morris Green Burial Is Friendler to the Earth CHARLES MORRIS, GREEN BURIAL COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL Marc Jahr Preserve Memory and Remember Life’s Brevity MARC JAHR, AUTHOR INTRODUCTION cemeteryy Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times Washington Cemetery in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The world’s cities are running out of space to bury their dead. After all, apartment dwellers can’t bury relatives in the front yard. While traditions like All Souls’ Day, All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead and Samhain honor the dead this week, we ask a question for the living: Where will our bodies go?

Filed under cemeteries problem out of room tombstones burials alternative solutions

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There's a social network for dead people | Fox News

There’s a social network for dead people Published November 21, 2013FoxNews.com social-network-for-dead-neshama.jpg NESHAMA.INFO If you have a pulse, this social network is not for you. Israeli entrepreneur Shelly Furman Asa spent an estimated $40,000 to build Neshama.info in order to preserve and record headstones in Israel. “It’s a kind of social network for the dead, or for their relatives,” Asa told Israeli paper Haaretz. ” That’s what I was after on my website, [also in English, though names of the deceased can only be searched in Hebrew]. We worked on it for a year, and it went online last month. Asa hopes that Neshama, which means soul in Hebrew, will be a way for people to commemorate their loved ones. “There are many things that have been done in connection with the commemoration of soldiers, Holocaust victims and so on. But we don’t have simple ways to commemorate – with high visibility – ordinary, everyday people who did not die in heroic circumstances.” There are currently 120,000 gravestones on the site and Asa has plans to continue to expand the site.

Filed under social network dead death graves tombstones headstones burials cemetery records

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Weird Cemeteries from Around the World (PHOTOS) - weather.com


Weird Cemeteries from Around the World (PHOTOS)

Lorraine Boissoneault and Camille Mann weather.com

Atlantis Memorial Reef - Key Biscayne, Florida

The Neptune Memorial Reef Cemetery. (Flickr/Todd Murray)

Finding a final resting place for the deceased is more challenging than it might seem, especially considering the limited amount of space on Earth and the extreme geography and climate of some locations. And although the recently departed may be beyond any worldly cares, the cemeteries they call their resting place are far from being immune to the outside world. “The weather’s effect can be as subtle as ice slivering monuments after years of winter,” said Loren Rhoads, the author of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, in an interview with Weather.com. ”It can also be catastrophic, like the flooding of Metairie Cemetery, between Lake Ponchartrain and New Orleans, when the levees broke after Hurricane Katrina,” Rhoads said. 

She added that weather isn’t the only threat cemeteries face — they can also become overcrowded and run out of room for new burials. The following examples show some of the unique ways societies have dealt with climate and overcrowding when it comes to finding a home for the deceased.

The largest manmade reef in the world, the Neptune Memorial Reef, is also an underwater mausoleum that will cover 16 acres of bare ocean floor with statues and tombstones once it’s been completed. Located three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne, the graveyard is only 40 feet below the surface of the water, allowing divers swim among statues and sea life to visit deceased family members. According to the Public News Service, divers go down with ashes mixed with cement and place the mixture in the selected location. In an interview with the Guardian, artist Kim Brandell said the structures are 90 percent cement, with some bronze and steel, and all the structures have the same pH balance as the sea. The project had to meet the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department before moving ahead. Keith Miller, an environmental specialist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, told the Guardian he was impressed with the environment the cemetery created for divers. The cost for placement is $2,600 to $4,000, and there are 1,200 spots in the initial development, reported the Los Angeles Times.



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Teamster Funeral Directors Help Give Morgue Bodies Proper Burials

    Teamsters Local 727 funeral directors are volunteering their time — and hearses — to give proper burials to 300 bodies that have been held at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnthumb/20100127/IBTLOGO

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Cemeteries has donated up to 300 plots and the Cook County Funeral Directors Association (CCFDA) have offered to transport the bodies from the medical examiner’s office to Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery on Chicago’s South Side.

The first burial of 13 adults and 120 fetuses and babies took place on Wednesday, April 25. Police escorted the procession of 27 hearses through a light rain to Mount Olivet, where Francis Cardinal George presided over the services.

"We are stepping up as a community of funeral directors to provide this service until all 300 graves are filled," said Local 727 steward Mark Rizzo, who has been a funeral director at Colonial Wojciechowski for more than 20 years. "We are trying to do our part to help the county get back on track financially."

Because of financial constraints, the medical examiner’s office has been unable to bury a backlog of bodies. Cook County’s only cost at the April 25 ceremony was $2,662 for the 18 wooden caskets. Each of the 13 adults was in his or her own casket, while the fetuses were placed in five large, compartmentalized caskets.

More than half of the funeral director volunteers and hearses came from Teamsters Local 727-represented funeral homes throughout the Chicago area.

"Our members are dedicated to serving their communities, and this is just another example of their unwavering commitment," said John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727. "These men and women really do go above and beyond to help people."

Rizzo helped organize the burials alongside Cook County officials and the CCFDA, which has three Teamsters Local 727 members on its executive board. Leonard Zielinski of Nelson Funeral Home is president, Roland Weis of Evanston Funeral Home is treasurer and trade embalmer Susan Dyer is secretary.

"As funeral directors, we wanted to add respect to the process and have a procession with hearses," Rizzo said. "At the cemetery, each casket has its own individual grave. We are committed to doing this the right way because that’s the only way we know how."

Rizzo said the response for volunteer funeral directors has been overwhelming, and all of the volunteers are committed to seeing this process through to the end.

"We really appreciate everyone who has given their time to make this possible," Rizzo said. "I am really amazed at the diverse group of funeral directors we had there. This is a great thing we are doing."

Teamsters Local 727 represents more than 450 funeral industry members in the Chicago area.                                   

(Source: marketwatch.com)

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