May 31, 2011

My Memorial Day In A Cemetery

I spent Memorial Day this year in a cemetery.  Actually, I used to do this a lot in my youth, when I worked as a tourguide at Arlington National Cemetery and on the holiday weekend showed tourists around sites like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Robert E. Lee's house and the Kennedy gravesites.  So it was peaceful and familiar and almost nostalgic to be hanging out in beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery way out in Brooklyn.

Green-Wood is a beautiful, expansive graveyard that I've posted about here before.  It has a lot of famous folks buried there, including Basquiat and Bernstein, and also has a lot of history too, as it was the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, the first major fight of the Revolutionary War which took place on the highest point of land in Kings County.  Today, the views from the top of Battle Hill are extraordinary as you can see the entire harbor as well as the entirety of Manhattan.  The picture here shows the view from a statue of "Freedom" waving out to Lady Liberty in the harbor.

The cemetery currently has an exhibit in the beautifully restored chapel honoring the more than 150,000 men from the NYC region who served in the Civil War.  Some of these brave Union soliders are buried in Green-Wood and their headstones have been found and restored in recent years. Anyway, it was a great way to spend Memorial Day...actually remembering the men who fought to keep this country together 150 years ago.

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