National Cemetery On Day

A solemn scene with rows of gravestones, an American flag gently waving in the background, and somber visitors paying their respects..
National cemetery on day illustration

Welcome to, where we uncover the fascinating history behind all the national days you never knew existed! Today, let's delve into the intriguing world of National Cemetery Day.

When is Cemetery On Day?

It's national cemetery on day on the 28th May.

The Internet History of National Cemetery Day

Did you know that National Cemetery Day is a time to honor and remember those who have fallen and pay tribute to their sacrifices? It's a day to reflect on the bravery and heroism displayed by our fellow countrymen and women.

On this special day, communities come together to visit cemeteries, lay flowers on graves, and participate in memorial services. It's a beautiful display of respect and admiration, and a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made for our freedoms.

The origin of National Cemetery Day can be traced back to the late 19th century when several American cities began holding Decoration Days. These events were an opportunity for communities to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers and flags. Over time, Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day, a national holiday dedicated to remembering and honoring our fallen heroes.

National Cemetery Day is an extension of Memorial Day, focusing specifically on the significance of cemeteries and the importance of properly honoring and caring for them. It serves as a reminder that these sacred grounds are not only a resting place for our loved ones but also a symbol of our nation's history and a testament to the sacrifices made for our country.

Nowadays, you can find various events and activities happening on National Cemetery Day, from organized memorial services to volunteer opportunities for individuals to help maintain and beautify cemetery grounds. It's a day that brings communities together and encourages us to reflect on and appreciate the sacrifices made by those who have served.

Fun Fact

Did you know that the oldest national cemetery in the United States is Arlington National Cemetery? It was established during the American Civil War and is the final resting place for over 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families.

History behind the term 'Cemetery On'

19th century

The Birth of Modern Cemeteries

In the 19th century, as urban areas became more populated and churchyards became overcrowded, the need for new burial spaces became apparent. This led to the establishment of modern cemeteries, which were designed as peaceful and structured resting places for the departed. These cemeteries were often situated on the outskirts of cities and featured intricate landscaping, grave markers, and elegant architecture.


Invention of the term 'cemetery'

The term 'cemetery' was first coined in 1804 by the French, who derived it from the Greek word 'koimētḗrion', meaning 'sleeping place'. This term referred to an enclosed burial ground specifically designed for the Christian community. It was believed that the dead were merely sleeping until the resurrection, hence the choice of a word associated with rest.


First use of the term 'cemetery'

The term 'cemetery' was first used in 1767, derived from the Greek word 'koimeterion,' which means 'a sleeping place.' This term was adopted to describe a burial ground or a place where the dead are laid to rest.


The Birth of the Word

The term 'cemetery' originates from the Greek word 'koimeterion,' which means 'a sleeping place.' The Greeks used this word to refer to burial grounds, giving it a peaceful and restful connotation.


An Early Resting Place

In 1847, the term 'cemetery on' gained recognition as a common phrase. It was used to refer to a burial ground or graveyard where deceased individuals were laid to rest. The term 'cemetery' itself originated from the Greek word 'koimeterion,' meaning 'a sleeping place.' Early cemeteries provided a peaceful environment for the contemplation and remembrance of the departed.

5000 BC

Early Burial Rituals

During the Neolithic period, early humans began burying their dead in designated areas. These burial sites were often located in caves or simple graves outside their settlements. These areas served as the earliest forms of cemeteries, providing a place for the deceased to rest and for the living to remember and honor them.


Origin of the term 'cemetery'

The term 'cemetery' derived from the Greek word 'koimētērion,' which means a sleeping place or a dormitory. In ancient Greece, burial grounds were often located outside the city walls, and the term 'koimētērion' referred to these resting places for the deceased. Over time, the word transitioned into various languages and cultures, eventually becoming the widely used term 'cemetery' we know today.


Origin of the word 'cemetery'

The word 'cemetery' is derived from the Latin word 'coemeterium,' which means 'burial place.' The term has its roots in ancient Greek and was adopted by the Romans. It originally referred to an enclosed place where the dead were laid to rest, separate from houses and places of worship.


Creation of the term 'cemetery on'

In the early 19th century, the term 'cemetery on' emerged as a colloquial expression in parts of England. It was used to describe the act of visiting a cemetery for leisure or recreation. People began to see cemeteries as beautiful and peaceful places, ideal for contemplation and walks, much like parks or gardens. This new perspective on cemeteries contributed to the birth of the term 'cemetery on.'


A Garden for the Dead

By 1873, the concept of 'cemetery on' underwent a significant transformation. With the rise of the rural cemetery movement, burial grounds embraced a new landscape design philosophy. Cemeteries were no longer simply places for the deceased, but they became serene, park-like enclosures, providing solace and beauty for the living as well. Landscaping, picturesque paths, and carefully curated plants were introduced, turning cemeteries into peaceful garden-like spaces.

15th Century

Origin of the Term 'Cemetery'

The term 'cemetery' comes from the Greek word 'koimētērion,' which means 'sleeping place.' In this period, ancient Greeks used the word to describe burial grounds, considering death as a state of eternal sleep. The concept of cemeteries began to evolve, focusing not just on burial but also on creating a peaceful and serene environment for mourning.


Introduction of the term 'on'

The term 'on' started to be associated with 'cemetery' in 1804. It is believed to have originated from the Old English word 'an,' which means 'on' or 'upon.' The addition of 'on' to 'cemetery' further emphasized the idea that the dead are buried within the grounds.


Introduction of the term 'cemetery on'

The phrase 'cemetery on' emerged in the 1830s as a colloquial expression referring to burial practices. It originated in the United States and was commonly used among African American communities. The term 'on' in this context suggests a spiritual connection or presence, indicating that the cemetery is not simply a place of the deceased but also a sacred space where the living can commune with their ancestors.


The Introduction of the Term 'Cemetery'

The term 'cemetery' comes from the Greek word 'koimētērion,' meaning 'dormitory' or 'resting place.' It was first introduced in 1837 by the Glasgow Necropolis in Scotland, which was one of the early examples of a designed cemetery. The term quickly gained popularity and became widely adopted to describe purpose-built burial grounds with a more planned and serene atmosphere.


The Garden Cemetery

In response to overcrowded and unsanitary burial sites in cities, a new concept emerged in Paris known as the 'garden cemetery.' The idea was to create beautiful and serene burial places outside the city limits, resembling peaceful gardens where people could visit and reflect.


Burial movement and the rise of cemeteries

During the early 19th century, a burial reform movement emerged in western societies. The movement aimed to create more hygienic and organized burial spaces, replacing overcrowded churchyards. In 1804, Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the first landscaped cemetery in the United States. This innovative cemetery design featured winding paths, ornate landscaping, and became the model for future cemeteries.

19th Century

Garden Cemeteries

With the rise of urbanization in the 19th century, burial spaces became limited and overcrowded. This led to the development of garden cemeteries, also known as rural cemeteries. These cemeteries were designed as park-like landscapes, incorporating elements of nature, sculptures, and ornate monuments. Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris and Mount Auburn Cemetery in Massachusetts were among the first notable examples of this trend.


The Silent City

In 1915, the term 'cemetery on' gained a deeper cultural significance as it became associated with the somber and captivating Silent City. The Silent City referred to Arlington National Cemetery, a vast burial ground for fallen soldiers in the United States. The name perfectly captured the quietude and reverence of this hallowed ground, immortalizing the sacrifices made by those who served their nation.


The rise of the rural cemetery movement

During the 19th century, a movement known as the 'rural cemetery' or 'garden cemetery' movement gained popularity. These cemeteries were designed as park-like spaces, featuring winding paths, landscaped gardens, and picturesque scenery. The concept of 'cemetery on' became more widely accepted, as people embraced the idea of cemeteries as places of solace, beauty, and even recreation.


The rural cemetery movement

The 19th century witnessed the rise of the rural cemetery movement, which emphasized the integration of cemetery spaces with nature. Inspired by picturesque landscapes, cemeteries were designed as serene and peaceful settings for contemplation. One of the most famous examples of this movement is Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, established in 1804. Pere Lachaise became a popular destination due to its stunning architecture, statues, and famous residents, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.


The Rise of Garden Cemeteries

During the mid-19th century, a new concept of cemetery design emerged known as the 'garden cemetery.' Influenced by romantic and naturalistic ideals, garden cemeteries aimed to create serene park-like spaces where visitors could find solace and contemplation. One of the most famous examples of a garden cemetery is Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, established in 1804, which became a popular destination due to its beautiful landscaping and the burial of renowned figures like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Frédéric Chopin.


Widespread use of the term 'cemetery on'

By the 1830s, the term 'cemetery on' had become widely used to refer to burial grounds. It became a common way to describe places where the deceased were interred, emphasizing the connection between the physical burial site and the deceased resting 'on' or within it.


The First Public Cemetery

The world's first public cemetery, Père Lachaise Cemetery, opened in Paris. It gained popularity due to its park-like setting and the burial of notable personalities such as writer Oscar Wilde and musician Jim Morrison. This cemetery became a model for subsequent cemetery designs.

20th century

Evolution of the term 'cemetery on'

Throughout the 20th century, the term 'cemetery on' gained wider recognition and usage within African American communities, particularly in the South. It became deeply rooted in the cultural practices and traditions of these communities. In addition to commemorating and honoring the deceased, 'cemetery on' also incorporates elements of African spirituality and ancestral veneration, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and resilience of African Americans.


The Term 'Cemetery' in English

The word 'cemetery' was first introduced in the English language during the 19th century. It replaced other terms such as 'graveyard' and 'churchyard' as the preferred term for burial grounds in English-speaking countries.

20th Century

Evolution of cemetery designs

Throughout the 20th century, cemetery designs evolved, incorporating various styles and themes. 'Cemetery on' became associated with different architectural styles, such as Gothic, Neoclassical, and Victorian. This evolution led to the creation of beautiful and serene landscapes, where people could honor their loved ones.

20th century

Cemetery Architecture and Sculpture

In the 20th century, cemetery architecture and sculpture evolved to reflect various cultural and artistic movements. Mausoleums, elaborate monuments, and statues became common features within cemeteries, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistic expression of the time. Different styles, such as Gothic Revival and Art Deco, left their mark on cemetery designs, creating a diverse and visually stunning landscape.

Present day

Continued significance of 'cemetery on'

The term 'cemetery on' continues to hold cultural significance and serves as a reminder of the African American experience. It represents a unique blend of religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions that have endured and thrived despite historical adversities. 'Cemetery on' ceremonies and practices have become an integral part of African American communities, fostering a connection between past, present, and future generations.

20th century

Continued cultural impact

The phrase 'cemetery on' continued to be used throughout the 20th century and beyond. As cemeteries evolved to include mausoleums, memorials, and artistic sculptures, they became more than just places of burial. Many cemeteries worldwide now host events, guided tours, and art exhibitions, attracting visitors interested in the historical and cultural significance of these sites. 'Cemetery on' has become a term associated with exploring the rich history, architecture, and artwork found within cemeteries.


Cemetery on: A Literary Symbol

By the 1960s, 'cemetery on' had made its mark as a symbolic term in literature and popular culture. It often conveyed themes of mortality, loss, and the transience of life itself. From Edgar Allan Poe's haunting narratives to countless horror movies, the cemetery became a powerful symbol, representing the boundary between life and death, where mystery and contemplation intertwine.


Creation of the first public cemetery

In 1853, London's government established the first public cemetery, known as Brookwood Cemetery. This groundbreaking initiative offered an alternative to church burials and addressed the increasing scarcity of urban burial space. Brookwood Cemetery became a monumental burial ground, designed to accommodate various religious denominations and provide a dignified resting place for people of all social classes.

20th Century

Modern Cemeteries

As society moved into the modern era, cemeteries began to undergo changes to adapt to new cultural and individual preferences. While traditional cemeteries still exist, modern cemeteries have embraced various innovative practices. These include green burials that prioritize environmental sustainability, cremation gardens, and memorial parks that offer diverse options for remembering loved ones.

Present Day

Cemeteries as Cultural Landscapes

Today, cemeteries serve not only as final resting places but also as cultural landscapes that reflect the diversity of society. They offer visitors opportunities to explore history, art, and horticulture. Many famous individuals are buried in well-known cemeteries, attracting tourists and becoming iconic landmarks. Cemeteries continue to evolve to meet the changing needs and preferences of communities worldwide, ensuring that the memory of the departed is preserved and honored.


Cemeteries as Cultural Heritage

Today, cemeteries are not only places for burial but also serve as important cultural heritage sites. Many cemeteries house the remains of notable individuals who have left a lasting impact on society, making them destinations for tourism and historical exploration. Moreover, cemeteries offer insights into various historical periods, architectural styles, and cultural practices, making them invaluable in understanding our past and preserving collective memory.


A Place of Memory

Today, the term 'cemetery on' holds both historical and cultural significance. It serves as a place for reflection and remembrance, fostering a connection between past and present generations. Cemeteries offer a glimpse into societal attitudes towards death, memorialization, and the diversity of mourning rituals around the world. They remain an enduring testament to the human desire to honor, memorialize, and cherish the departed.


Mount Auburn Cemetery

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, opened as the first rural cemetery in the United States. Its design featured picturesque landscapes, idyllic pathways, and the inclusion of natural elements, inspiring the creation of many more rural cemeteries throughout the country.

Present day

Continued cultural significance

Today, the term 'cemetery' remains an integral part of our cultural and historical heritage. Cemeteries serve as not only burial grounds but also places of remembrance, reflection, and appreciation for the lives that have passed. They are important spaces for preserving collective memory and paying tribute to our ancestors.

20th century

Modern cemetery practices and cremation

With the advent of the 20th century, cemetery practices evolved further. Cremation became increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional burials. Crematoriums were established within cemeteries, offering individuals the choice of cremation and interment of ashes. Additionally, modern cemeteries began implementing technological advancements, like digital mapping systems, to manage burial plots more efficiently and preserve historical records of the deceased.


The National Cemetery System

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln established a national cemetery system to honor and provide a final resting place for Union soldiers who died in battle. Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia became one of the most notable national cemeteries, serving as a symbol of sacrifice and remembrance.


The Memorial Park Movement

The Memorial Park Movement emerged, shifting the focus of cemeteries from somber and decorative grave markers to more natural and park-like settings. The emphasis was on creating spaces for peaceful reflection and remembrance, blending harmoniously with the surrounding environment.


Modern Innovations

In recent years, cemeteries have seen technological advancements such as digital memorials, biodegradable burial options, and virtual cemetery visits. These developments aim to accommodate the evolving needs and preferences of individuals while preserving the core purpose of cemeteries as places of remembrance.

Did you know?

Did you know that the oldest national cemetery in the United States is Arlington National Cemetery?


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First identified

22nd May 2015

Most mentioned on

28th May 2018

Total mentions


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