Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving in the military. It’s also a day that many people go to visit the graves of loved ones.
Tombstones traditionally have the person’s name, date of birth and when they died, but now some gravestones are going high tech. And you can learn a whole lot about the person buried there.
Case in point, the grave of Max Katz. He was born in 1923, grew up in the Hill District, he was a basketball player and he was a tank gunner in World War II.
“He was in the invasion of Normandy, and the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. He was in the Battle of the Bulge, as well,” said his son, Ira Katz.
But you don’t need Katz’s son around to learn his history. All you need is a smartphone.
That’s because when his dad died, Ira Katz put a QR code on his dad’s memorial, which links to a website filled with family photos, videos and his obituary.
“I wanted to do it, because I wanted to have a tribute to my father and it is something that would keep his memory alive,” he said.
At Urbach Memorials in Shadyside, every gravestone in its showroom is available with a QR code.
“This is a way to bring new technology into an old-fashioned industry,” said Heath Peterson, a manager at Urbach Memorials.
Ira Katz adds to his dad’s story whenever he can by putting up photos and videos as he finds them. And it’s all there for the world to see.
There are several companies that offer QR codes for gravestones.
At MemoryLinks, the company used by the Katz family, you pay a one-time fee of $249 and you have the ability to upload photos, videos and other information about your love one.