The 14th annual Memorial Service in the cemetery of Connecticut Valley Hospital will take place on Wednesday, May 30, at 1 p.m. As in each of the past 13 years, clergy and laity from Middletown and other Connecticut communities will recognize and honor persons buried in numbered, anonymous graves, speaking publicly their names, dates of death, and ages at death. This year’s group of 100 numbered graves spans the period from March 1939 to May 1942.
The 1,686 numbered graves in the CVH cemetery are a moving testimony to the stigma that persons suffering from mental illness have endured over the years — a stigma that endures to this day. The memorial service is designed to restore the dignity and identity of Connecticut Valley Hospital patients whose names have been kept secret over many decades and to bring attention to the ongoing ways in which individuals with psychiatric disabilities are still feared and shunned by many in our communities.
The Memorial Service will last approximately one hour. In case of very severe rain, the ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 31, at 1 p.m. The CVH Cemetery is located on Silvermine Road east of the main CVH campus. Take Bow Lane east past the State Veterans Cemetery on your right. Proceed a bit farther and turn left on Silvermine Road. For those traveling south on Rte. 9, take exit 12, turn left onto Silver Street and go .7 miles, past CVH and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. Turn right on Silvermine Road and you will come to the cemetery.
For more information, call The Rev. John Hall at 860-398-3771.