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Shelby's gift

The Facts

Memphis, Tennessee


Shelby County Cemetery is unique , it is one of the few government owned cemeteries in the country, it has a concentration of poor babies...


I went to visit “Babyland” as it is called, because I read that there are 17,000 babies babies buried here in the last 30 years

It is hard to believe that there are thousands of babies buried here, each baby only occupies a space approximately 12 by 24 inches...


Marked by a silver disc with just a name...

Some are marked with little crosses, balls and teddy bears..

... a water damaged letter wrapped in plastic, from the babies father explaining how happy he had been when he found out the baby boy was going to be born, and how sad he was when he had to surrender him to his heavenly father...

Looking at the little silver discs...digging away the dirt from some of the ones that were grown over...staring at the vastness...trying to make sense of it all...

I accepted the gift of this moment...

These babies remind me, and all of us, that they were born to families, communities, and a country that is often labeled as ignorant, non-caring, and undeserving of the responsibility of a new life.

This is not true! We have the resources to educate ourselves and to provide families with the care and support they need to have healthy babies and be prepared to care for them.

Shedding tears on one little disc, I promise to share their story and call forth the will in all of us to protect and welcome the smallest of us...ashay...Kathryn Hall-Trujillo.

Photography Arnold Trujillo


Shelby County, TN brings home the painful reality of infant mortality.

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