On the cold morning of Wednesday, November 29, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, Senator Bill Weber and Assemblyman Ken Zabrowski gathered to celebrate the recent signing of legislation that will allow the town to access state funding for the restoration and repair of three local abandoned cemeteries. County Legislator James Foley was also in attendance.
The short gathering was held at the abandoned Nanuet Rural Cemetery by Highview Playground, one of the three cemeteries that will be aided by this funding. Supervisor Hoehmann began the ceremony by thanking Assemblyman Zabrowski and Senator Weber for helping the town with the passage of the bills that will make these improvements possible. Restoration efforts will include fixing headstones, installing markers and clearing pathways for better access.
Many of the people buried in these cemeteries are founders of the county. Some are community members who served in the armed forces all the way back to the Revolutionary War. There have even been requests from family members to be buried next to their loved ones in nearby abandoned plots.
“If you think about it, a person dies twice—when they actually die, and the last time their name is ever mentioned,” Supervisor Hoehmann said. “For some of these folks, their names have been forgotten to history, even though some of them were extremely important to the history of our town, our county and our state. I’m delighted through the efforts of Assemblyman Zabrowski and Senator Weber that we’re able to now fix these cemeteries up and somehow recall these folks so they’re not truly forgotten.”