Thursday, December 13, 2012

~~Paupers' Cemetery~~

I read an article in the local paper recently that stirred me to my core. The focus of the article was the "White Tanks Cemetery." Cemeteries have always fascinated me; I'm even a grave site photographer. 

This cemetery, The White Tanks Cemetery, in Phoenix, AZ, is different than any cemetery I've ever visited. It's a cemetery in which those that are unknown or have no one to take care of them when they die, are buried by the county. 




The rock and dirt cemetery sits at the very south end of Luke's Air Force Base. Visitors park on the outside and must walk in. 




Markers are just tiny brass discs with the name of the person (if known) and the date of death.  That is it.

This is the disc for Macy Cady, a baby. A toy car rests with him.




The backdrop of the cemetery can be quite beautiful.




And yet, you turn and see much barren sadness...overwhelmingly barren sadness, knowing that these are PEOPLE that had lives and souls and families and hopes and dreams and....now this....





"Baby Row"...way too long....





A woman from Ohio finally found her mother...here.




Sometimes, the local chain gangs--men and women--bury the dead (as punishment for not behaving in jail, by the way). Today, there were just a few people attending the "funerals."




As terribly disturbing as all this is, I found solace for the rested in that they have frequent flyovers that are simply magnificent from Luke's Air Force Base. 




And the roses outside their gate.................



6 comments:

Tressa Bailey said...

so sad that someone's life would rest here yet heartwarming that a stranger (you) would come to honor them and prove they once existed here with us.

Miranda (Skinn) Rhuda said...

I can not thank you enough for visiting my mother on my behalf. Thank you for caring enough to try to make a difference, most people don't even bother anymore these days.

It is sad that many of those people ended up there, because a lot of them have family who love them! Including my mother! But I appreciate you shedding a light of beauty on the cemetery. Visits there from people like you are the only thing that make it beautiful.

MiMi Paris said...

It's my honor!

MiMi Paris said...

It's my honor!

Jon said...

This is an extraordinary and deeply touching story. The photos reveal the intensity of emotion - - the isolation and sadness.

Juliana Paris said...

Truly beautiful and sad.....
Cemeteries have an energy, the stories of the many souls who have moved on. Many feelings are evoked, too many to put into words. Your sensitivity to this is captured in these photos.