Hackensack Cementary Sign
Forest Costen Briggs Banner


Forest Costen Briggs
Forest Costen Briggs Grave Marker


This grave marker which is at Hackensack Cemetery located at
289 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack New Jersey reveals that Forest C. Briggs served in the U.S. Marine Corp during Korea and died at the age of only 24.

Forest C. Briggs was not on the Original Wall Unit List, but I have listed
Forest C. Briggs with the Original Wall Unit list for these reasons:

First, being African American he most likely may not have finished high school prior to the Korean War, but still have attended Hackensack Schools.
Second, the grave marker states that Forest C. Briggs served for New Jersey during his time in service couple that with being buried in Hackensack.  Also, there was a Billy Briggs who played football and was a friend of Mike Miello in 1962, so the name is familiar to Hackensack.
Finally, the grave marker confirms his connection to Hackensack by being buried within its borders since passing and forevermore.

Forest C. Briggs 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.   Grave plots, having been bought before a person died in the 1950’s, 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 Catholic ministries right next to Hackensack Cemetery. 

Written by:
Bob Meli
August 11, 2018


Background image of Marine recruiting poster during the Korean War obtained from: