Kick off July 4 with a big bang in Belleville

The morning of July 4 kicks off with a big bang at the old Belleville Dutch Reformed Church cemetery — at 171 Main St. at the corner of Rutgers Street opposite the Belleville-North Arlington bridge — as the Belleville Historical Society hosts the 21st annual July 4 morning ceremony at 10 a.m.

The cemetery is the final resting place of 68 Revolutionary War soldiers. On Sept. 12, 1777, the Battle of Second River took place at the site, the only battle fought in Essex County during the American Revolution.

Josiah Hornblower, who served in the Continental Congress and Col. Philip Van Cortlandt, commander of the Essex County Regiment, are buried at the site.

There will be a display of reproductions of a dozen different flags used during the Revolutionary War. The ceremony will include the raising of the Betsy Ross 13-star flag, the singing of the National Anthem, the roll call of the names of the 68 soldiers and conclude with the firing of a 21-gun cannon salute.

For more information, contact Michael Perrone at or call (973) 780-7852.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.