Lutheran All Faiths cemetery marks past

By Patrick E. McCarthy

Bordering on both Glendale and Middle Village and divided in half by Metropolitan Avenue, the cemetery was originally incorporated in 1852 as Lutheran Cemetery. It later filed a Doing Business As certificate with the words “All Faiths” added in order to clear up any confusion since it accepts people of any faith.

Dan Austin, president and chief executive officer of the cemetery, said it is an important part of the community's history.

“We want the cemetery to be beautiful and also educational,” he said.

The landscape stretching out with numerous hilly cobblestone roads has nearly 538,000 internments within its boundaries. Along with hundreds of Civil War burial sites, there are numerous plots containing the remains of people with notable distinction such as Ball-Hansen, the great grand niece of the nation's first president, George Washington; Horst Herink, founder and past owner of landmark restaurant Niederstein's; and family members of the famous Bohack supermarket chain to name a few.

“There are six Medal of Honor recipients buried in this cemetery,” said Drew Nelson, director of operations.

Along with a dedication to state Sen. Serphin Maltese (R-Glendale), he said the April 17 events would recognize the 100th anniversary of the General Slocum fire, which took the lives of 1,020 people and whose well-kept monument stands on the Christ The King High School's side of the cemetery.

One of the more colorful and interesting organizations scheduled to participate in the festivities is the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The re-enactment and historical group is planning to assemble at 10:45 a.m. and rededicate headstones while honoring those who fought in the war and are buried at the cemetery.

Nelson said that beginning in the early afternoon there will be refreshments and food located at the Eternal Light Mausoleum, which will also serve as the location for a Sept. 11 memorial dedication.

The daylong festivities are set to begin at 10 a.m. near the Slocum memorial. Luther All Faiths Cemetery can be contacted at 718-821-1750.

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