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Andrew Gaffney Gravemarker
Hackensack Cemetery Sign
Andrew Gaffney Grave Marker


This grave marker which is at Hackensack Cemetery, located at
289 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack, New Jersey reveals that Andrew Gaffney served in the U.S. Army and rose to rank of a Tec 5 in his job during World War II and died at the age of only 53. Andrew Gaffney was not on the Original Wall Unit List, but I have listed Andrew Gaffney
with the Original Wall Unit list for these reasons; first being African American he most likely would not have finished High School prior to World War II, but still have attended Hackensack Schools. Second the grave marker states that Andrew Gaffney served for New Jersey during his time in service couple that with being buried in Hackensack he either lived in Hackensack or the surrounding area which was all considered Hackensack prior to 1930
which is well after his date of birth.

The grave marker confirms his connection to Hackensack by being buried within its borders since passing and forevermore. 

Andrew Gaffney is buried in the African American section of Hackensack Cemetery. In the 1880’s a law was passed because of an incident concerning Hackensack cemetery,

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making it a crime to refuse burial of African Americans in cemeteries with a fine of up to $500.00.  The cemetery was officially founded in the 1890’s and the segregation within its grounds went on for many years to follow with attitudes probably changing after World War II.

Although grave plots having been bought before the1950’s before one dies and many African Americans more comfortable resting their loved ones in a more traditional area among friends and family not much has changed. Italians in Hackensack are much more highly represented in St. Joseph’s Cemetery for similar reasons they really were not welcome in the more Dutch and Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Hackensack at the turn of the 1900th to the 20th century so they created their own cemetery through St. Joseph’s Church.

Written by:
Bob Meli
August 11, 2018


Background image of Recruiting Poster for Black Soldiers during World War II obtained from: