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Grave marker
Leroy Smith Grave Marker


This grave marker which is at Hackensack Cemetery Located at 289 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack New Jersey reveals that Leroy Smith served in the US Army Military Police during World War II and died at the age of only 33. I do not know if there is a relationship connection with Eugene E. Smith at the present time. Leroy Smith was not on the Original Wall Unit List but I have listed Leroy Smith 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 Leroy Smith served for New Jersey during his time in service couple that with being buried in Hackensack he most likely lived in Hackensack at some point in time. 

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

Leroy Smith 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 16, 2018


Background image of African Americans World War II Co. C 780 Military police obtained from: