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Cemetery pushes for interactive, digital memorials

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Andy Nitchman - 4:59 PM July 22, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

The Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery may soon turn headstones and name plaques into interactive memorials.

While a name and life span etched in stone can only tell you so much about a person, a little square called a QR code can tell you so much more.

With a barcode-scanning app, one needs only to hold up their smart phone to find a digital link to a life story.

“This one has his biography, there would be an obituary, and then correspondents if folks want to send memorials to the family,” said cemetery director Rob Jones, while showing off a demo QR code.

Jones is the man behind the push for the tech-savvy upgrade.

“The QR code is limitless,” Jones said. “Now they can tell all of grandpa’s stories about how he was a fisherman, pilot, pioneer or anything.”

The idea is that everyone has a story to tell.

Legaee Clark walks through the cemetery whenever she can to visit her grandparent’s grave. She wonders if a link to lasting memories would catch on.

“A lot of times people just come here for their family and it would be interesting to figure out about someone else’s life,” Clark said.

Before the QR codes will be allowed along the cemetery’s columbarium wall, the Anchorage Assembly first needs to be vote on it because the land is owned by the municipality.

Jones is hopeful it will pass so that people visiting the Anchorage cemetery will see not that someone has died, but that they lived.

If approved, the QR service will cost $150. Families would have complete editorial control and can upload videos and pictures.

–The video for this story will be updated.

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