Veterans News

The Great Mission of Green-Wood Cemetery


Brooklyn, NY – In the center of the busy metropolis sits a 478-acre cemetery that is the final resting place of thousands of veterans, from the Civil War to the present-day. Green-Wood is one of America’s first rural cemeteries and has seen more than 575,000 interments since 1840, as explained by the cemetery’s full-time historian, Jeff Richman. The cemetery, founded in 1838, is now a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as a prestigious place to be buried. In addition to the beautiful landscape to include hills, valleys, ponds, and paths, it contains one of the largest outdoor collections of nineteenth-and twentieth-century statuary and mausoleums. The cemetery, also a Revolutionary War historic site, is open to the public 365 days a year.

The service of our nation’s veterans secured the freedom we know today. Unfortunately, history has not always been kind to American veterans who often struggle to adapt and find their way after making tremendous sacrifices for our nation. Sadly, sometimes their stories have been lost or forgotten. A newer initiative of the cemetery is to identify and honor the burial sites of every World War II veteran who is interred at the cemetery. It is the third major project of its kind, along with the identification and honoring of Civil War and World War I veterans buried at Green-Wood. Richman began the Civil War project with the help of researchers and writers. Today, the cemetery’s website contains the biographies of each Civil War veteran identified. Military Times shares that more than 5,200 Civil War veterans have thus been recognized. Another of Richman’s important goals is to secure headstones for Civil War veterans buried at Green-Wood, as approximately 40% have unmarked graves.

Obtaining information on Civil War and World War I veterans is challenging, as those gathering information lacked the ability to speak to people to learn of personal accounts. Currently, family members and friends of World War II veterans buried at the cemetery are encouraged to fill out a form on the cemetery’s website to detail their loved one’s military service and personal life to ensure their story is accurately told and that they are rightfully honored. Soon, the cemetery hopes to do the same for Korean and Vietnam veterans as well.

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