BELLEVILLE, NJ — The Belleville Historical Society’s July 4th ceremony went off with a bang as Belleville residents gathered at 11 a.m. at the old Belleville Dutch Reformed Church cemetery at Main and Rutger Street for the annual event to watch Revolutionary War reenactors fire muskets and cannon at the historic site.
Participants in the festivities included the American Legion Post 105 Color Guard, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22, members of Heard’s Brigade of the N.J. Militia, Father Ivan Sciberras of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church and Nutley author Anthony Buccino. The national anthem was sung by Belleville High School 2018 valedictorian Isabella Mattingly.
The cemetery is the final resting place of 68 Revolutionary War soldiers and was the site of the Battle of Second River on Sept. 12, 1777. The church, now Iglesia La Senda Antigua, and the cemetery are National Historic Sites. “Yankee Doodle” played while the names of the 68 soldiers were read aloud. Seven different historical American flags flew while a variety of patriotic tunes played. The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun cannon salute by the society’s artillery crew.
Photos Courtesy of Belleville Historical Society, Anthony Buccino and Ravi Persad