Monday, December 5, 2011

Military Monday - More On "Two Sides of a Tombstone"

Recently, Valerie Craft at Begin with 'Craft' told us of her experiences, and why you always read both sides of a tombstone.

John Walker Sams is not my family member.  But while loading my photos of a recent visit to Darlington Cemetery, I saw this and thought, another perfect example. 
John Walker Sams
Apr 26 1944 - Apr 8 2006
Bronze Star Medal

Last week as I walked through the cemetery, I was attracted to the dark granite, high polish, and organic shape of this stone.  I walked over for a closer look and snapped a photo or two. 

Having learned my lesson on looking at both sides, I did so and was taken by surprise.  This person is much loved, and I think there must be a genealogist in the family, because the stone has been designed to tell the story of their lives.     


John Walker
Apr 26 1944
Apr 8 2006
Beloved Husband, Father
Devoted Christian, Soldier

Kathy Lynn
Aug. 12 1947

And here's the "other" side of the story:

Engravings include a brief epitaph for John, his wife's name and birth date, plus an eagle for his Airborne Division, a cross entwined with flowers, on his wife's side is the winged rod and serpents that form the RN cross (sometimes associated with the Army Medical Corps), wedding rings with anniversary date and "Till We Meet Again" engraved, and, nestled sleeping in the upper left corner, a kitten. 

John Walker Sams: a devoted husband, father and Christian who also served his country and loved cats...sounds like a nice man to know.

Close-ups of the SAMS engravings.
My photo, 11/2011.

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