Time and tide wait for no man.
Perhaps this is an odd place for an early morning stroll but Colonial Cemetary in
Savannah is both a peaceful and serene place to wander…
Not only are there tabby lined paths that weave throughout this rather massive burial
place, but there are also beautifully majestic ancient oaks veiled in the otherworldly
ethereal Spanish moss which cast dancing shadows across the landscape of an otherwise eerily
still and silent place …
All of which adds to the allure of this surreal and tranquil place.
It is a place steeped in centuries-old history.
The stories and lives of the known as well as the unknown.
Folks who had come from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Poland, Germany…
Most of who had come pre-Revolutionary War and who have since each found a resting
place in this protected piece of land, in a country they would each come to call home.
A Declaration of Independence bears many of their names just as do state counties.
State colleges have named buildings in their honor as we remember both the heroic and the notorious.
From Today in Georgia History:
August 2, 1776- Statewide
Georgia joined The United States on August 2, 1776, the same day that Button Gwinnett,
Lyman Hall, and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
The declaration was approved on July 4, but signed by only one man that day, John Hancock.
Fifty other delegates to the 2nd Continental Congress signed on August 2.
Later that year, five more brought the total to 56.
Eight of the signers, including Gwinnett, were foreign-born.
One was Roman Catholic, a handful were deists and the rest were Protestants.
They all went on to lives of public service in the republic they founded:
there were two future presidents, three vice presidents, two Supreme Court justices,
and many congressmen, diplomats, governors, and judges among them.
In 1818, 14 years after Georgia’s last signer died, Georgia named counties in their honor.
Charles Carroll of Maryland, the last of all the signers left, died in 1832 at the age of 95,
but their revolutionary idea of a self-governing free people lives on.
The experiment they began remains unfinished, as it was on August 2, 1776,
Today in Georgia History.
The cemetery, no matter how many times I find myself wandering, affords me new discoveries
hidden amongst the trees and mostly ignored by the abundant squirrels who call this
park-like cemetery home.
Numerous tiny graves now protect the innocent… some who are named, some who are not.
Eternally protecting the mortal remains of those who were born only to quickly pass away—
as they were born during a time when both birth and death walked hand in hand
Some grave markers are elaborate—hand carvings which are each works of art
while others remain plain and simple.
Some markers offer kind and poetic words while others have lost all legibility
to the passing of time.
Names, dates, and lives seemingly washed away from both time and the elements.
It is said that despite the iron fence that now encloses the cemetery,
the buried actually extend yards beyond, extending outward into the city they
The city paved and built over many graves long before a permanent fence
Even the office of the Archdiocese of Savannah is housed in an old colonial building
that undoubtedly was built upon the graves of the unknown as recording details of
those buried was not always a priority.
Yellow fever victims are in a mass grave in a far corner of the cemetery while
unknown Confederate and Union soldiers now spend eternity side by side.
It is said that this is one of the most haunted places in the city…
but yet this city boasts many an otherworldly spook and specter.
I like to learn of the lives who have all gone before me.
Those who lived in a time much different from my own and the
similarities of lives lived are more alike than different.
For we all live, love, hurt, suffer, laugh and cry…and each eventually die.
Not so much different as we are still very much alike.
And the dust returns to the earth as it was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 ESV