After my trips to New England, I have a new perspective on my family cemetery. Although many of the graves of New England from the 1600's and 1700's were very impressive and beautiful, they cannot compare to the more modern graves of Mount Carmel Cemetery. Although quite modern in comparison, they are are ornate and beautiful. They are also aging now.
Mount Carmel is a predominately Italian cemetery. The Italians brought their burial customs with them to this country and can be seen here. Photographs on headstones are common here. Many of the artisans who made the various statues and headstones were of Italian ancestry also. Many of the graves here stand from 5 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide as well. One of the graves must be the most unique grave ever produced as I cannot imagine it has been done elsewhere. The unique grave of the DiSalvo family is an ornately carved image of the family that actually turns 360 degrees from it's base. Pictured left, this family monument stands about 6 and a half feet tall. The detail in each flower and feature is incredible. The back of the monument is just as detailed as the front which includes a small round table with a fashionable hat on top. Under the photographs of the husband and wife, is where the base turns. You can see the detail pictured above, right.
There are over 400 small family mausoleums here, many of which contain pictures as well as a small alter with stained glass windows behind the small alters. On the left you will see a typical example of these family mausoleums, which happens to be the resting place of my best friend, Mary Covelli and her father, brother, uncles and grandparents. The large brass doors lock. Sadly, many of these mausoleums have been boarded up.
As I visit other cemeteries, I have a new appreciation for my "family cemetery". Filled with trees and flowers, winding roads, angels and saints it is the most beautiful cemetery I have visited this far in my life. But then, maybe I am biased.
This headstone is located near my great grandmother. The woman figure is larger than me. The monument is about 7 1/2 feet tall and wide.
The grave was probably made for the baby, Dominic Giunta.