Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Plainfield cemeteries on Memorial Day

Plainfield's Civil War veterans are buried in a circle known as
the 'G.A.R. Bivouac' at Hillside Cemetery.

Plainfield will commemorate those who made the supreme sacrifice for their county at Monday's annual Memorial Day Commemoration, which gets under way at City Hall at 10:00 AM.

It is a longstanding custom to decorate the graves of fallen service members with small American flags, placed there by veterans and community service organizations. In fact, Memorial Day was first known as Decoration Day, from the custom of strewing flowers on the graves which grew up after the Civil War (it was still known by this name when I was a child).

I visited Plainfield's cemeteries on Sunday and photographed some of the displays.

A grave in the Methodist Cemetery on Plainfield Avenue.

...and one in the adjacent Baptist Cemetery. Both cemeteries
suffered from vandalism and neglect in the 1980s and 90s.

Gravesite in the Presbyterian Cemetery on Brook Avenue
in North Plainfield. These three cemeteries hearken back
to a time when denominational sensibilities were very strong,
and each major denomination had its own cemetery.

The Friends cemetery, adjacent to the Meeting House has no flags.
Quakers, who are pacifists, do not serve in the armed forces.
However, one Friend told me there is a Civil War veteran
buried here who served in the military, much to the scandal
of the local Meeting.

A grave at St. Mary's Cemetery on Berckman Street. Like the
other cemeteries (except for Hillside), it is surrounded by a
chain link fence and is not open for the public to visit.

Plan to bring an umbrella in case of showers, which have been predicted. The Ceremony will take place in front of City Hall.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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