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Yesterday, we heard about this awesome event on the radio. At the cemetery downtown people would be dressing up as some of the people buried there and telling people about their significance and the history of Alaska. We were so excited. We got the kids in the truck and drove into Anchorage. The cemetery was deserted. Turns out the event is actually tonight. But since we were there we thought we would look around anyway. We knew Sidney Laurence was buried there and as we love his work, thought we might check out his gravesite.

Before yesterday the only cemeteries I’ve spent any time in have been military: Arlington and Gettysburg. In those graveyards the tombstones don’t tell a lot about the person. Name, rank, religion, and dates of birth and death. Some are buried with their wife so you know that they were married. But you don’t tend to see the “Here lies a great man,” or “She was loved by all,” that I had heard about being on tombstones.

At the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery you really can learn about the person buried there. We walked around the Pioneers section. At Sidney Laurence’s grave was a tombstone and the top of the stone looked like Denali. One of the interred must have loved planes because a model plane flew over his resting place. We saw former governors and statesmen, founding families, and military heroes. The ones that touched me the most were the ones which I simply felt like this person impacted many lives and was well missed. I don’t remember the exact words that made me see those people as special, but something about their tombstones showed that those people made a special sort of impact.

It made me think of Nicole Nordman’s song Legacy. Nicole sings about how she wants to be remembered, not by her accolades but by her legacy. Not by what she did, but who she was.

To me a big part of the difference is the effect of a life on others. What you do makes others appreciative for what you have done. But who you are is what makes others change who they are. It causes a ripple effect that lasts forever. And that is a true legacy.

I like the idea of leaving a legacy behind. But I know that type of thing is only done by those with great character. And I know how character is formed…through trial and the development of patience. That is not fun stuff. However, the idea that the work that begins as I develop patience can affect others generations from now is kind of cool. It may help me to bear through the next time I am afflicted with trials.

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