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Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony set for Green-Wood Cemetery

On Saturday, May 25 a group of 75 young Brooklyn volunteers — mostly children and teens — will join Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman in placing American flags at the graves of 285 World War I veterans who are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Richman will deliver brief remarks and distribute flags and maps to the volunteers, who will then head out in groups to their assigned areas — by foot, on the Green-Wood trolley and by car — to honor the WWI veterans with Old Glory. 

In 2017, a team at Green-Wood comprising staff and volunteers, and led by Richman, undertook an effort to identify WWI veterans interred in the cemetery.  They searched cemetery records and various online databases in order to accomplish this goal. The biographies of each of these 285 veterans can be found on the Green-Wood Cemetery website.  

Richman said it was fitting to honor this group of largely forgotten military heroes on the first Memorial Day after the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended WWI.

Green-Wood, founded in 1838, is a National Historic Landmark. It’s become a destination for history buffs and bird watchers, and is a Revolutionary War historic site. With 478 acres, it has earned an international reputation for its beauty. Among the famous people buried there are Leonard Bernstein, Horace Greeley, Boss Tweed and Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Richman also noted that there are approximately 10,000 military veterans interred at Green-Wood, including more than 5,000 Civil War soldiers who have also been honored with the placement of American flags on past Memorial Days.

Volunteers for the wreath-laying will meet at 9 a.m. at the flagpole just inside the Gothic Arch.

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