Opinion

Youngs Cemetery is part of U.S. and Oyster Bay history - some 350 years of it! From the pilgrims to the fight for Independence to the Civil War and right up to the present - with its 26 steps leading up to Oyster Bay's own Theodore Roosevelt who is now ranked among the top five most respected and loved presidents in U.S. History.

The cemetery also contains the graves of scores of slaves - marked "unknown."

...And so it was that on February 1, 2009, a pilgrimage of Faith, Remembrance and Healing was observed. It was led by the Reverend Kenneth Nelson of the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church.

He led his congregation and guests up the snowy hill to the little white crosses marking the spots. Songs were sung by the Gospel Choir including: My Lord What Is Morning, Song for the Old Ones, On Freedom and We Shall Overcome. There was a moment of silence; the official Consecration and Benediction; a sharing of family stories and reminiscences; smiles and tears; and whispered hallelujahs.

The circle of history was completed as the sun was setting and the shadows lengthening.

Yes, it was an occasion to be remembered - about people who must not be forgotten!

Nick LaBella

Youngs Memorial Cemetery, superintendent.


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