(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Thursday released legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) to create a program dedicated to preserving and promoting the grave sites of prominent historical figures of the American Revolutionary period.
“Not many are aware that one of the most important battles of the American Revolution was fought in Trenton, just blocks from the state house. Or that the grave sites of five signers of the Declaration of Independence are located in New Jersey,” said Gusciora. “We have a responsibility to preserve this history and the memory of those individuals who helped shape our nation. This bill would help recognize these important historical figures and promote tourism in the state.”
The bill (A-1312) would establish a program within the New Jersey Historical Commission to encourage the preservation of the grave sites of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and other significant individuals of the American Revolutionary period located in New Jersey; and promote public awareness of the lives of these significant individuals and the location of their grave sites.
The program would make grants available for the preservation and maintenance of grave sites of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and other significant individuals of the American Revolutionary period, and for historical markers or plaques to indicate the location of these grave sites. The grants would be available to cemetery companies or religious corporations, societies or organizations that operate cemeteries, civic groups, historical organizations, religious organizations, veterans organizations and other non-profit organizations, counties or municipalities.
The program would also conduct a public awareness and educational campaign, which would include producing printed and internet-based informational material designed to inform New Jersey residents and tourists about the lives of the signers and other significant individuals of the American Revolutionary period and the location of their grave sites.
The bill was released by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.