November 2 is All Souls Day, following All Saints Day (Nov.1). Western Christians dedicate the day in memory of the faithful departed. The Catholic Church's celebration on this day is meant to cleanse the souls of those who died with sins for which they have not completely atoned. It is believed that the prayers of the living will help those in purgatory reach heaven.
This is the Nashville National Cemetery, located about six miles north of downtown. In 1867, it was dedicated as a US Military cemetery, although it had been a cemetery for years before that. Many of those originally buried there were casualties of the Civil War, and there are over 16,000 Union soldiers interred there. If you look at the center of this photo, you'll see that some of the graves are marked with square, marble "pegs" instead of headstones. The names of the soldiers reposing in those graves are unknown, and the only thing that marks their resting place is the peg with a number on it. (All graves are numbered in numeric order.)
TOMORROW: One day and counting . . .