Rehoboth Cemetery

What follows below is an excerpt of a story written by Dr. James Schaap.  To view the complete story in the June issue of the Banner, please click here.

Most white folks would say the cemetery at Rehoboth is not a well-kept place. Yet, even months after Memorial Day more fresh adornments festoon the burial sites, per capita, than almost anywhere off the rez: a miniature basketball and hoop on the grave of a young woman who only a year earlier had helped her Gallup team to a state championship; (half-empty bottles of Coke half-buried in the dirt; stuffed animals galore, ceramic angels, all kinds of toys; rosary beads hung from a homemade wooden cross jammed in the ground beside a small statue of Mary in a Navajo blanket; hundreds — maybe thousands — of plastic flowers.) — this seems a bit overstated, and comes off as quite pagan.

Arlington National Cemetery’s impressive orderliness makes it seem the soldiers buried there are still heroic and selfless. But at Rehoboth cemetery the dead are remembered strikingly, memorably. Everywhere you look there is personality. So many stories. So much sadness. And much faith.