Chester County Government: Chester County officials and community organizations commemorate veterans’ graves in Coatesville
May 27, 2021
The Chester County Veterans Affairs and Deeds Register, along with Chester County Commissioners and several community organizations, commemorated deceased veterans and placed flags and markers on their graves at Old Evergreen Cemetery in the Valley Township in commemoration of Memorial Day on Wednesday, May 26. .
Old Evergreen Cemetery (203 Cemetery Rd, Coatesville, PA 19320), formerly known as “Evergreen Colored Cemetery”, was originally built during a time when segregation was still significant in the United States and therefore does not contain as graves of African Americans, many of whom belonged to the Hayti community of Valley Township. It was filled to capacity in the 1960s before the founding of the adjacent New Evergreen Cemetery. Ownership of the cemetery has remained ambiguous over the decades and has therefore been abandoned and unguarded except by the Graham family who have descendants buried there and by various other volunteers who have done their best to take care of the grounds over the years. years.
The ceremonies began with a brief and welcome introduction by Chester County Master of Ceremonies and Clerk of Records Chris Pielli, followed by the presentation of the colors by the Coatesville Area Senior High School Air Force Junior Reserve Office Training Corps (AFJROTC) PA-771 Cadets and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Bradbury Camp # 149 while singer and Recorder of Deeds Special Projects Coordinator Kim Bydlon performed the national anthem a cappella. Then a solemn moment as volunteer cemetery caretaker Teresa Graham and Chester County Prothonotary Debbie Bookman and her daughter (an AFJROTC cadet) placed a wreath at the site to the sound of Taps played by VFW Post # 287 Bob McGonigle.
Following the ceremonies, attendees heard from a range of speakers including US Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, Commissioner and Chairperson Marian Moskowitz on behalf of Chester County Commissioners, PA State Representative Dan Williams (District 74), the Chair of the Board of Supervisors of Valley Township Patrice Proctor and Volunteer Cemetery. Goalkeeper Teresa Graham. The final commemoration saw spectators, contributors and participants placing flags and markers on 50 graves of veterans.
The Recorder of Deeds is the county elected official responsible for managing the repository of property records, military dumps and other official documents in Chester County. The office recorded its first act in 1688.
This press release was prepared by Chester County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.