"The draped cinerary urn is probably the most common nineteenth-century funerary symbol."
~ "Stories in Stone" by Douglas Keister
It's a little strange if you consider cremation was not a popular practice at the time.
It is, however a literal representation of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust", and a tradition of practice pre-dating Christianity. Consider "Pietas", the Roman Military value - when conditions prohibited burial of a notable leader the ashes were placed in a vessel to be carried to a permanent resting site.
The veil itself can be seen as a symbol between the earth and heavens during this journey. As the soul surely could not truly rest until it was home..
These are unfortunately some of the memorials most susceptible to time.
We can't wait to tell you though about those restoring so many of the monuments on Crescent Hill!