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To cremate or not to cremate? Results are now in: Yes

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Many of the families leave gifts when visiting appropriate to their culture and their relatives' interests. Here a Russian family has left a small bottle of vodka, a rose and a chocolate bar on top of one of the crematories. (Amanda Rivkin/CNS)

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The crematory at the historic Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York houses several thousand urns. The majority of families are Asian, but there are many Jewish, Hispanic and Italians that have made Greenwood their eternal home. (Amanda Rivkin/CNS)

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Many Buddhist families visiting the Greenwood Cemetery like to burn in incense for religious reasons before visiting relatives' remains. (Amanda Rivkin/CNS)

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An Asian-style crematory at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York that was recently completed. Cemetery officials believe it will take an estimated 30 years for the complex, which has space for 8,000 peoples' remains, to be at full capacity. (Amanda Rivkin/CNS)

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Urns can either be placed in locker-size cabinets or buried in urns in the ground, similar to a traditional burial. (Amanda Rivkin/CNS)

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The number of people opting for cremation, of themselves or of loved ones, has tripled since the 1980s, a trend that's been fueled by lower costs, relaxed religious rules and societal acceptance.


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