Thursday, March 21, 2013

There is Empowerment in Remembering.

Have you ever seen Dr. Suess' hit movie, The Lorax? It's a fun yet cautionary tale that promotes environmental awareness, self motivation and sustainability- all very important things for our society to remember.

As I was watching the movie with my own children, I couldn't help but become excited about a small prop that is used. It is a simple stone with the simple word "UNLESS" engraved on it. As the movie went on the Onceler proclaimed,

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing will get better. It's not."

What a powerful statement! Even more importantly, what a wonderful message to empower our children to realize that, if used appropriately, their voices can be heard to make important changes- changes for the better.

I became inspired by the meaning of the little rock, as did the staff here at Emerson Monument Company, and decided to help the Lorax communicate his message by taking it to the local schools. And I am SO glad that we did because it has been a really fun and enjoyable project for us all to work on!

Presenting Our Stone to a Local Elementary School 

When we presented our stones to the local schools we incorporated it into their curriculum in several fun and meaningful ways.

At one school we incorporated the presentation into their Kindergarten Career Day. I began my career day presentation by telling the kids that I am a Memorialist. (a big word for 5 and 6 year olds!) I told them that in my career I help people remember important people and important events. They seemed to understand that and even had some suggestions about the people and events they think are important. 
I then read the portion of , The Lorax, to them that illustrates the UNLESS rock.

"What do you think The Lorax's important message means? And why is it important?" They had some wonderful (and, I will admit, some very funny) answers! "But why is it important that this message be remembered by future generations?" I challenged.

And, most importantly of all, "Why do you think the Lorax chose to engrave his message on a stone rather than simply write it on paper or post it on Facebook?"

All around us, in our community centers and public places, in our cemeteries, in our gardens, and even in our businesses, there are dedications to those people and events that we regard as important and special. They are individuals, groups and historical events that have defined who we are, where we come from and why we think and act the way we do.

We honor them by keeping their memories alive- forever. But in a world of dwindling permanence, the only way to truly keep those memories alive- even decades after we, ourselves, are gone- is to etch those memories in stone to ensure they remain memorable for generations yet to come.

That is my objective as a memorialist- to tell stories in stone that will be cherished and remembered for generations; To honor the lives and events that have defined us, and to do so in a beautifully permanent way.

My name is Alison Raymer and I am proud to be a memorialist at Emerson Monument Company and to work with the families and communities which I serve.


  1. That's a powerful statement indeed. I thought about it as well when I saw the movie, in part because there are several headstones in Illinois that simply say "unless" beneath the name, and I always wondered why.

  2. What a great article! I loved the Lorax movie. My grandfather just passed away, and we are looking for headstones in Holdrege


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