Fallen New York Soldiers from Mexican-American War Honored in Greenwood

By Maya Shwayder on July 17, 2012 3:54pm 

Councilmen Greenfield and Gentile with the six navy sailors at ceremony honoring ten fallen Mexican-American War soldiers.
Councilmen Greenfield and Gentile with the six navy sailors at ceremony honoring ten fallen Mexican-American War soldiers.
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DNAinfo/Maya Shwayder

GREENWOOD HEIGHTS — Ten New York soldiers who fought in the Mexican-American War were honored in their final resting place in Green-wood Cemetery on Friday, July 13, 2012.

The 10 men lay in anonymity for 164 years in the cemetery with a marker that just said "Mexico."

Two of the interred men, Mexican-American War veterans Lt. Alexander Forbes and Lt. Robert Floyd, started the effort back in 1848 to bring fallen soldiers back to their native New York. Forbes and Floyd were also Veterans.

The presence of the mass grave was discovered by the cemetery's historian, Jeff Richman.

A former New York Times journalist, William Asley, 80, of New Hope, Penn., started a letter-writing campaign to Mayor Bloomberg to give the 10 soldiers headstones.

"We are humbled and honored today to give these courageous men a long overdue memorial," said cemetery president Richard J. Moylan in a statement.  "At the time of their deaths, more than 20,000 New Yorkers lined the streets to honor their courage and sacrifice. Although today's ceremony may not be elaborate, our sentiments are just as strong."

City Councilmen David Greenfield and Vincent Gentile were in attandance at the ceremony. 

Greenfield spoke briefly, saying he was honored to be a part of the "important and touching ceremony."

"As Americans, we have an obligation to respect the sacrifice of every soldier who has served this country, especially those who died in foreign wars," Greenfield said. "We owe these men a debt of respect."

All ten of these men were veterans of the Mexican-American War in the mid-1800s. Eight of them were killed in Mexico and were originally buried there.
All ten of these men were veterans of the Mexican-American War in the mid-1800s. Eight of them were killed in Mexico and were originally buried there.
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DNAinfo/Maya Shwayder
A trumpeter played 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to open the small ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery to honor the ten fallen New Yorkers, who died 164 years ago.
A trumpeter played 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to open the small ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery to honor the ten fallen New Yorkers, who died 164 years ago.
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DNAinfo/Maya Shwayder

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