The 17th annual Memorial Service in the cemetery of Connecticut Valley Hospital will take place on Wednesday, May 27, at 1 p.m. As in each of the past 16 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. Individuals were buried in this year’s group of 100 numbered graves between May 1950 and August 1955. At the end of this year’s ceremony, the original intention to visit all the gravesites in the cemetery over a 17 year period will be fulfilled.
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 28, 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 about ½ mile, past CVH and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. Turn right onto Silvermine Road and you will come to the cemetery.
For more information, call The Rev. John Hall at 860-398-3771.