As it relates to the cover story of the Secaucus graveyard I say that any generation that diminishes the value of its ancestors, diminishes the worth of itself. Have you ever seen a soldier laid to rest when taps is played. It rends the heart to think of that sacrifice forgotten. Perhaps a soldier who was a veteran of the Civil War or some other war of this nation was placed in that now unmarked grave. How many of us have ancestors who struggled to come to this land in search of a dream. Perhaps that is the person who was buried there. These are not the bones of dogs that are in those graves. I wonder how many of you who live in Secaucus and all of Hudson County understand that these were real people each with a unique story. That story is the story of Secaucus and of Hudson County. It is the story of generations past. Those stories have no silent sentinels to speak of them. They are unmarked graves in an overgrown and forgotten field. These stories need to be spoken, if not in totality, then at least to the extent that they are known. You should not allow that to be taken from you. Nothing speaks more strongly about a society than the way the poorest of the poor are treated. These people were some of those poor. Their treatment now speaks volumes about us.
Just the same way that the emotion of your great lose on September 11, 2001 gave some of you the motivation to create your outstanding monument to those who perished in that evil attack, I truly hope that some of you will consider at the very least, the creation of some small memorial to these dead. It is your history of Secaucus which should be preserved in stone so that they will be remembered. You have lost the memory of your "Slave Cemetery" to the extent that even if you know that it existed, very few can say just where it was. In the past you allowed people to build on ground where African-American slaves were buried. Now you shall have people digging up and carting away your dead and placing them in a "mass grave" as though they were trash, which must be sent to the landfill and forgotten.
I believe that the people of Secaucus and all of Hudson County are far better than this. Your 9-11 memorial has rightly become a place to remember and pay respect to those named, and by that small portion of steel, all who died. So also should a stone to those forgotten dead both slaves and freemen be placed nearby the library. Is it because you did not know them that you fail to care? Is it because they were not of your generation? How ironic that the December 1, 2002 cover of the Secaucus Reporter contains two stories side by side, one of the past and the other of the future, one a story of the forgotten dead the poor, the other a story of the wealthy. How ironic that the two stories are so closely tied together by reason of geography. How ironic that the old and the new, the past and the future have collided in Secaucus. Do not allow the dead to be neglected any longer. Even though progress changes the landscape it does not have to erase history. This is your history and as such it should be recorded for your children to learn and grow in wisdom, for without history there is no wisdom! Most communities build on their history, Secaucus is taking that concept to the max to the extent that they really are "building" upon their history!