I try not to get too caught up in the tragedies behind gravestones, preferring to focus on their value as material objects and concrete expressions of cultural values. Each stone represents a terrible loss for someone, so there isn't much point in ascribing special value to some over others because they are especially tragic. Still, every once in a while, a stone tells such a sad story that I can't help but be drawn to it, even if it isn't stylistically or linguistically interesting.
40 British Regulars who were killed at the Battle of Menotomy. A small, laminated card on the front reads,
In MemoryI don't know who put up this little memorial, but I found it very touching. It stands very near the grand obelisk dedicated to the slain Minute Men and the juxtaposition is stark. There's a little stone dedicated to an unnamed Regular in the Lexington graveyard that didn't strike me as too sad, so I think that maybe the lack of a stone is what makes this ephemeral tribute particularly pathetic and poignant.
of the British Soldiers
who gave their lives
in the service of
their King and Country
April 19, 1775
and seldom remembered,
they have lain here over 230 years.
Rest in Peace.
I'll join Lori in remembering the American dead, but would humbly ask that we also include a thought for these unnamed dead.