Veterans Day is on Wednesday, Nov. 11, but I am holding a walking tour on Sunday, Nov. 8, Noon, to honor the holiday. Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills National Cemetery is the only National Cemetery in New York City. I started going there in 2010 when I was researching my Governors Island book. In 1886, the U.S. Army closed the post cemetery that served Fort Columbus (today Fort Jay), and moved all of the graves to Cypress Hills. I was fascinated that the Army would do this, and researched the stories of these men, women, and children.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery is the final resting place for 21,000 veterans and dependents from the American Revolution to the Vietnam War. The cemetery was opened in 1862, and is older than Arlington National Cemetery. It closed to new internments in 1954: it filled up. Almost every time I visit the cemetery I am the only one in the entire burial grounds; this walking tour (which is free) is my small way to tell the stories of those interred here.Take a walk to visit the graves of 24 Medal of Honor winners and soldiers from more than 200 years of American History. See the graves of such notables at Marine Corps legend Dan Daly, Colonel Benjamin Ringgold, and Coxswain John Cooper (two-time Medal of Honor winner). Learn about veterans who served in the Mexican Wars and Spanish American War.
Cypress Hills National Cemetery is the final resting place for nearly 500 that were once interred on Governors Island, including many Confederate prisoners of war who died on the island. We’ll visit all of their graves and learn their stories.
Note that Cypress Hills National Cemetery is in three different locations on Jamaica Avenue. The walking tour begins at the historic gates at 625 Jamaica Ave. The second part of the walk will be in the private Cypress Hills Cemetery at 833 Jamaica Ave. MEET AT 625 JAMAICA AVE.
Sunday, Nov. 8, 12pm-2:00pm
625 Jamaica Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11208
cross street: Hale Avenue
J train to Norwood Avenue, walk northwest 2.5 blocks on Hale Avenue to the front gates.
Jackie Robinson Parkway to 625 Jamaica Avenue is the National Cemetery (look for the eagles on the front entrance so you know you are at the correct gate). Free parking.