Belleville Historical Society, Perrone have busy 4th of July

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The Belleville Historical Society had a busy July 4.

First was its annual ceremony at the old Belleville Dutch Reformed Church. The society is cleaning and restoring Revolutionary War memorials and plaques throughout northern New Jersey but the 4th kicked off with a literal big bang — 13 big bangs, in fact — fired from the Belleville Historical Society’s cannon at the church’s cemetery, where 68 Revolutionary War soldiers are buried.

A large crowd of residents, veterans and officials gathered to hear a reading of the Declaration of Independence recited by newly elected Councilman Frank Velez and all three verses of the National Anthem sung and read by newly elected Councilwoman Tracy Williams Muldrow and Councilwoman Diana Guardabasco.

The names of the 68 soldiers were read by veterans from American Legion Post 105 followed by a salute with three volleys of musket fire by reenactors. Assemblywoman Carmen Morales set a replica Revolutionary War sword at the grave of Josiah Hornblower, who served as Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly during the Revolution and was later elected to the Continental Congress. The ceremony concluded with a 13-gun salute in honor of the 13 original colonies.

Then at Nutley High School, Board of Education trustee Nick Scotti visited the newly refinished bronze plaque in front of the school with the names of the 10 men from Nutley who fought in the Revolutionary War and the brownstone marker with the name of Pvt. Hermanus Brown, Nutley’s first lost in battle. The plaque was refinished and the stone engraved by the Belleville Historical Society. Most of the men are buried in the old Belleville Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery.

Lastly, Belleville Historical Society member Emmanuel Ramos-Jaramillo worked at the old Hackensack Dutch Reformed Church cemetery, cleaning and repairing the brownstone gravestone of Revolutionary War General Ench Poor.

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