On Veterans Day, GIVE, a Bronx based organization, hosted an “It’s My Park Day” event at the Old West Farms Soldier Cemetery.

Although the cemetery is not a park, the historic site is owned and maintained by New York City Parks and Recreation.

Located on East 180th St and Bryant Avenue, it is the Bronx’ oldest public veterans cemetery. In 1967 it was designated as a landmark site by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It is the resting place of soldiers from the War of 1812, the Civil War, Spanish American War and World War I.

Over 100 Bronx high school students came out on Veteran’s Day to help rake leaves and plant over 1000 daffodil bulbs. Over 70 bags of garbage were collected.  Other volunteers worked on art and crafts projects to be distributed to veterans during the Christmas season.

Local Bronx historian, Stephen Devillo, shared some of the cemetery’s history. His research included history of the area, stories of some of the soldiers and old photographs.

American Legion Bronx County Commander Joseph Recuppio, a Vietnam veteran, came to show his support. He explained the difficultly he had in the past to gain access to the cemetery for a cleanup. He was pleased to see so many Bronx youth caring for the veteran’s cemetery and attentively listening to its history.

Bronx resident, Ruth Papazian, documented the event as part of her Google Glass project. If you missed the event, here are some of the highlights.


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