Maryland Preservation Guide

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Maryland Preservation Guide

Graves and cemeteries are important features of our cultural landscape. Marking a burial place reflects a human need for a hallowed site of remembrance. Although a grave commemorates an individual's physical remains or spiritual passing, cemeteries are communal expressions of observance. Cemeteries are the outgrowths of the communities that create them. They are focal points for family, religious, or ethnic celebrations that honor the dead and foster a sense of group identity among the living. As settlement patterns and communities’ attitudes toward death have changed, so have the sacred spaces associated with remembering the dead. For these reasons, cemeteries provide insight into the beliefs and values of past generations.