Memorial at Old Newton Burial Ground
NEWTON. On Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, the Sussex County Historical Society hosted a memorial service honoring veterans.
By Mandy Coriston
Newton- The Sussex County Historical Society hosted a memorial service at the Old Newton Burial Ground on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, to honor the Revolutionary War veterans and patriots interred at the cemetery. Under a bright spring sky, members of the historical society were joined by representatives of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Harmony Lodge No. 8 F&AM, and American Legion Lt. Charles A. Meyer Post 86 to remember the contributions of those veterans to the history of Sussex County and our country.
Cemetery co-chair, SCHS trustee and Honorary Regent of the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Wendy Wyman led the ceremony, which included full military honors provided by the Post 86 Honor Guard.
Thanking the crowd for attending the service, Wyman talked about the grave markers of the 12 Revolutionary War heroes buried at the cemetery.
“Some of these stones have stood the test of time, some have received repairs, some have been replaced, and some have been placed for the first time,” she said, “But these stones have one thing in common; they represent someone who made sacrifices so that we can stand here today in freedom.”
Wyman and her fellow Daughters of the American Revolution then dedicated each of the gravestones. Two of the DAR members, Gail Shawger and Kathy Rivers, were able to lay flowers on the graves of their direct ancestors.
The newest grave markers were made possible through the cooperation of Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s office (D-NJ 5). Patrick Sheehan represented Gottheimer at the memorial service.
“It’s been an honor to be a part of getting the new headstones for these veterans,” he said on behalf of the congressman.
SCHS President and former Sussex County Historian Wayne McCabe offered brief remarks before the ceremony closed with a gun salute and the playing of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and “Taps” on the bugle.
“It’s important for us to remember the roles of those who are buried here,” McCabe said, “and it’s equally important to remember that they were husbands and wives, parents and children, and businesspeople who were integral to building Sussex County. On this Armed Forces Day, we also need to recognize that we still have tens of thousands of active service members who will someday need the same care.”
Revolutionary War veterans and patriots buried at the Old Newton Burial Ground:
Thomas Anderson John Couse Matthew Davis
John Drake Samuel Harden Jacob Hendershot
John Holmes Henry Johnson Theodorus Polhemus
Charles Pemberton Richard LloydLetitia Thornton Anderson (Ladies of Trenton)
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