What do you see in a cemetery?
Gravestones, at a minimum, provide the name and dates for the deceased individual. But there's often much more.
Many stones also carry symbols with specific meanings, which may indicate the deceased's age (young, old), an occupation, religion, organizations, military service or other meanings.
The Heritage Bulletin of Oregon devoted an issue to a detailed list and photographs of many symbols commonly found in cemeteries.
Here are some common symbols and their meanings.
ANGEL: Guardian or messenger between God and man
ASPHODEL or LILY: Plants with white, pink or yellow flowers - including the narcissus and daffodil - reminds visitors of their mortality.
BOOK: The holy book or Bible, "book of life." Closed, end of life or a complete life. A pile of books may indicate the deceased was scholarly or educated.