In honor of Memorial Day 2014, we bring you a ‘Then’ photo of Memorial Day 1926. Placing flags on the graves in the Veterans’ Circle at Arlington Cemetery (in Kearny, not Virginia) are residents of the Old Soldiers’ Home, some of them veterans of the Civil War. Officially known as the N.J. Home for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, it stood on Belgrove Drive north of Bergen Ave. and operated from 1887 until 1932. As the aged heroes honored their comrades, a bugler was playing ‘Taps.’ You can see him at the bottom left of the old photograph.
Don’t be disturbed by the undecorated graves in the ‘Now’ photo. Veterans laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery (aka Arlington Memorial Park) are still honored every year. Members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will be there this coming weekend with flags to mark the headstones in advance of Monday’s holiday.
As we have noted before, ‘Then & Now’ has become a learning experience. This week, we learned how many Civil War veterans are buried in this cemetery, located at the intersection of Schuyler Ave. and the Belleville Turnpike. Care to hazard a guess? The answer is 553. And you can find all their names at newjerseycivilwargravestones.org. On the home page, click on ‘Browse Gravestones by Cemetery.’ Then select Hudson County. Arlington Memorial Park is at the top of the list. The names are in alphabetical order.