Home ┬╗ Pennington African Cemetery Assoc. hosts Memorial Day program, plans for Juneteenth

Pennington African Cemetery Assoc. hosts Memorial Day program, plans for Juneteenth

by Community Contributor

The Pennington African Cemetery Association held its annual Memorial Day Program on Monday, June 29, 2023, directly after the Pennington Memorial Day Parade.

Community members gathered to listen to local clergy leaders and PACA Board Members reflect upon the significance of the Pennington African Cemetery. A welcome was given by Keith Case, PACA Board Member, followed by an Opening Prayer delivered by Pastor Greg Smith of 2nd Calvary Baptist Church of Hopewell.

A brief history fo the Pennington African Cemetery was given by PACA Board Members Angela Witcher and Suzen Witcher. A summary of The Pennington African Cemetery Association Educational Foundation (PACA-Ed) was delivered by Gabrielle Shamsey, PACA-Ed and PACA Board Member, specifically promoting the PACA-Ed fundraiser for an accessible driveway renovation.

Kayla Turner (pictured above), a Pennington School Student in the sixth grade commanded the spotlight with her confidently delivered reading of her original poem titled, “I Come From.” Her performance was moving and inspiring. Kayla was a shining star as she shared wisdom and talent that belied her young age. Click here to read Kayla’s poem.

Angela Witcher thoughtfully remembered Charles S. Jennings, Civil War Veteran. The 14th Regiment RI. Rev. Paul Jeanes of Trinity Church Princeton gave an impassioned talk about the beauty of the cemetery and the importance of each life lived. He made a correlation between life and the breeze, which was illustrated by leaves swaying in the trees overhead.

Keith Case engaged the crowd in a reflective discussion. He shared his thoughtful experiences from his genealogy exploration. Mr. Case assured the attendees that when exploring family trees, people might not find exactly what they seek but rather something unexpected and potentially more exciting!

Rev. Nancy Schluter of The Pennington Presbyterian Church spoke of her memories of the cemetery over the years as a Pennington Borough neighbor to the cemetery. She ended the special day with a beautiful prayer. We hope to see more new and familiar faces at next year’s program!

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual PACA Juneteenth Kick-Off Celebration!

The PACA will be giving away complimentary* Mr. Softee ice cream cones to members of the community on Friday, June 16th from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. The truck will be at the foot of the Pennington African Cemetery driveway at 413-417 South Main St.
Pennington, NJ 08534. Special thanks to Volvo of Princeton for sponsoring this event! Please go to our website for more information.

*one cone per person while supplies last

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