Groups gathered today in Whippany at a cemetery where pre-Revolutionary War soldiers were laid to rest.
The Whippany Burying Yard on Route 10 is a cemetery that was established in 1718, more than half a century before the United States officially gained independence from Britain. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in New Jersey.
In the cemetery lie the first settlers, ancestors of presidents and others who fought in the French and Indian wars, revolutionary and civil.
Costumed guides playing the roles of some of the deceased offered guided tours of the cemetery to the public – free of charge. Giovanni Ricupero, a student at Randolph High School, played the role of War of Independence veteran Uzel Kitchell, who died in 1813.
“People can see how lucky they are to live in this country and to have the right that they have and where we come from because I think people forget that a lot and that’s why it’s so important doing what I’m doing here to give people a little taste of what it was like, “says Ricupero.” Kind of takes them back to the 4th of July celebration and why we’re celebrating it. “
Guided tours end at noon, but if you’re interested, you can stop at any time during the day to join a self-guided tour.