Definition: A commemorative monument dedicated to a person or group of people buried elsewhere.
This seems like a strange word, most likely only known by cemetery personnel. However, we have examples of cenotaphs all over the world. Most cenotaphs were put up to honor those who had died during war. Many countries have these monument types. In the US we have several:
You will find a JFK Memorial Cenotaph only blocks away from the site of Kennedy’s assassination, which was built in 1970 to honor his legacy. There is a cenotaph on top of the War Memorial Chapel located on the campus of Virginia Tech. This cenotaph was built to honor the institution’s cadets who have been killed in various battles. The World Trade Center memorial in NY is another example. Most recently in our history, there are cenotaphs created to remember those killed through gun violence.
The bodies of those remembered are not interred where the cenotaphs are placed, but it is a place to remember and honor the memories of these individuals. In some cemeteries, families will erect a monument or cenotaph to honor the memory of a family member who is buried in another state or country.
At Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, we have a place of cenotaphs in the Peaceable Kingdom garden behind the chapel mausoleum. If you were to look down at the bricks, you will see names and dates inscribed in certain bricks. These are remembrances of those not buried in our cemeteries. However, they provide a place for families to visit and to remember.
The Catholic Cemeteries is pleased to offer an opportunity at Resurrection Cemetery to memorialize by name the important people in your life. For a tax-deductible donation of $250, the name of the individual you select, along with the year of birth and death, will be inscribed on a permanent brick and placed in the Peaceable Kingdom patio.
If you are interested in learning more about this option, please click on the button below: