• 1774 cemetery new jersey

    A Cemetery Dating Back to 1774

    There is a church cemetery near our house that dates back to 1774. It is the oldest cemetery in our New Jersey township and it predates New Jersey statehood. New Jersey was the 3rd state admitted into the Union in 1787. Prior to that it was known as the Province of New Jersey. A relatively new, but appropriate addition to the cemetery is an arched sign over the entrance that reads “God’s Acre.” The sign was paid for by the descendants of one of the church’s founding families. That term, “God’s Acre,” is a common label for cemeteries and it comes from the German word Gottesacker, which means field of God. We…

  • holidays

    Memorial Day 2019

    Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the United States. As with many things in the United States, even the origin of Memorial Day is a debated topic. This is because decorating the graves of soldiers has happened for a long, long time and nailing down a precise start date is tricky. However, many think the Memorial Day we celebrate, or Decoration Day as it was first called, was originally started to honor those soldiers who died during America’s Civil War. Memorial Day wasn’t declared a federal holiday until over 100 years later in 1971, but it continues to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military. If…

  • holidays

    Memorial Day

    Is it correct to say “happy” Memorial Day? After all, it is a day to remember those who died serving in the United States armed forces. Perhaps it is just one of those things we say because the holiday has also morphed into the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend to spend with friends and family. Happy might not be the right word, but I am extraordinarily grateful for the men and women who have served our nation. There was a period in our country’s history when military service was required. Having never lived through an era when I was really ‘forced’ to do anything, not to mention…