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Up the Hill

A Chattanooga man dedicates his life to cleaning up an abandoned cemetery for African Americans founded in the 1890s:

"Cemeteries aren’t built for the dead; they’re built for the living.

"Those inscriptions on the tombstones—'In Memory,' 'Rest in Peace'—are as much wishes for the departed as they are implied contracts with those left behind. But promises etched in stone can still be broken. “Gone but not Forgotten,” some of the headstones say, and at times David feels like he’s the only reason that’s still true. The more he clears, though, the more he sees fresh flowers, or at least fresh silk flowers, left on graves. That means people are coming, that they’re finding what, or who, they’re looking for. They are paying their respects, making their peace."
PUBLISHED: Nov. 12, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3963 words)