Place at a Glance
|Name/Location||Wyuka Cemetery: 3600 “O” Street, Lincoln, NE 68510|
|Website/Phone||www.wyuka.com; (402) 474-3600|
|Open hours & length of time to allow||For Lincoln passport stamps, visit during M-F business hours; for driving tours, the gates are open until 4:30 Monday through Saturday. Allow 20-30 minutes minimum to drive through (more if you are stopping at all 50 “stops.” To walk would take a few hours.|
|What to Bring||Good walking shoes if you want to really explore; otherwise you can drive through if you want a shorter experience|
|What to Know||$5 guide: WyukaCemetery: A Walking and Driving Tour by Ed ZimmerOR via printable PDF http://www.wyukafoundation.org/tour.htm
OR check out a copy from Lincoln City Libraries
|Museum Manners||This is still an active cemetery, so grieving families may be present. Also a place to practice showing respect and honor to those who have gone before.|
|Recommended Ages||8 and up for appreciation (younger ones can definitely ride along!)|
|Cost||Free, unless you decide to buy the guide|
One of the spots to visit on “Be a Tourist in your own Hometown” program is a bit unusual for a tourist attraction.
When we went there yesterday, I think the receptionist was a bit startled that we wanted to learn as much as we wanted a stamp for our Lincoln passports. When I asked her which parts of the tour are the most interesting, she said that the grave most inquired about was Starkweather’s. (Thankfully my kids had no idea who that was, and we did not follow popular persuasion to find it as we drove through!)
I quickly glanced through the guides and pointed out to my kids the names of several prominent Lincoln people who were buried there. (Walt, Gere and Anderson for instance – all names of libraries we visited). We left feeling very much unenlightened. I decided that since we were there anyway, we may as well take the time to drive through. I am so glad that we did.
Wyuka is a very intriguing place. Becoming an official state cemetery in 1869, Nebraska had only been a state for 2 years. At the beginning, Wyuka was located a few miles outside of Lincoln. Gradually the city grew around the grounds, enclosing it to be in the center of the capital. If you are interested in knowing more about the history and seeing some pictures from the past, you can watch this video.
Many statues were scattered throughout the spacious grounds, but this one especially appealed to me. The man stands in honor of those who fought in the War Between the States. Evidently many Civil War soldiers are buried at this cemetery, even though Nebraska did not become a state until 2 years AFTER the conflict ended.
This was by far our favorite part. All of these rows of tombstones represent the soldiers who fought for our country. While many went on to live longer, some of the graves were for those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Seeing the circular lines of white stones on the rolling hill was inspirational! We felt moved to say a prayer thanking God for our country and especially for those who have served and sacrificed.
This is the sign that sits on the edge of this section of Wyuka. The words expressed seem to be a fitting way to end this Independence Day post. Happy birthday, United States of America! (Note: if you click on the picture, you will be able to read it easier!)