Go where the ancient pathway guides,
See where our sires laid down
Their smiling babes, their cherished brides,
The patriarchs of the town;
Hast thou a tear for buried love?
A sigh for transient power?
All that a century left above,
Go, read it in an hour.
~ HOLMES ~
Monumental inscriptions excited the attention of the ancients and are regarded by family historians as sources of information and amusement.
Epitaphs are not simply memorials; epitaphs are brief biographical memoirs, the outlines of characters which have appeared in the drama of human life. The desire of gaining some clue to the knowledge of our ancestors, is secondary only to the wish of transmitting to posterity some token of the fact that we too existed.
However amiable the maxim "speak not ill of the dead;" praise for virtues never possessed is poignant satire in the eyes of those who knew the deceased well.
Starting today, The Western Washington GYR will publish an epitaph or inscription a day. You know what they say, "An Epitaph a Day, Keeps Death's Spectre Away."
So enjoy the Complimentary Epitaphs that characterize the wise, the great, and the good. Epigramic Epitaphs which consist of satirical description, ironic eulogy, or the wit of the punster, or those that solve brick walls long thought impossible to overcome.
You never know, you may just discover an ancestor.