For many people, a walk through a cemetery is something to be avoided except on the rarest of occasions and which inspires feelings of dread and images of the gothic horror movies that frightened us in our youth. But for me, a visit to a cemetery – most especially, a Rusyn cemetery – is usually a peaceful, heartwarming exercise. It inspires my imagination as I think of the early immigrants buried there, the vastly different world they left even long before I was born. I ponder their lives as I see their pictures, as many of the traditional stones will have. I feel at ease, knowing that I'm among my own people – gone from this life but still present in the memory of the living, present likewise in the hereafter.
|St. Michael the Archangel Greek Catholic Cemetery, Shenandoah, Pa. – the oldest Rusyn cemetery in the U.S.|