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Graveside ceremony at Princeton Cemetery honors President Grover Cleveland

“I have tried so hard to do right.”

President Grover Cleveland

The Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division hosted a wreath-laying ceremony at President Grover Cleveland’s gravesite at the Princeton Cemetery on Saturday, March 18. 

For many years, the White House Military Office has been responsible for coordinating the annual placement of presidential wreaths at the tombs and resting places of former presidents and other famous Americans. Presidents are honored on their birthdays.

Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837. His relationship with Princeton began in 1896, when he gave an address at Princeton University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. Cleveland and his first wife liked Princeton so much that they made their home on Hodge Road after his second term as president was over. Cleveland was later elected as a trustee of the university and remained active in the school’s affairs until his death, advocating for the development of the graduate college and opposing Woodrow Wilson’s quad plan. His association with Princeton is commemorated by the Cleveland Tower of the Graduate College.

Speakers at the ceremony Saturday included Maj. Gen. Rodney Faulk, commanding general of the Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division, Mr. Robert Maguire, Civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army (Emeritus) for New Jersey, Princeton Mayor Mark Freda, and Mark Texel, administrator of the Office of Historic Sites & Parks for New Jersey.

One of nine children of a Presbyterian minister, Cleveland was born in New Jersey in 1837. He was raised in upstate New York and worked as a lawyer in Buffalo before becoming a politician. He served as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.