Nyack Village Square rededicated to honor civil rights activist, WWII vet Hezekiah Easter

The community showed up in droves for the renaming of the square to honor civil rights activist, World War II vet and Nyack native Hezekiah Easter Jr.

News 12 Staff

Nov 11, 2021, 10:35 PM

Updated 981 days ago

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The Nyack Village Square was rededicated Thursday to honor a one-of-a-kind vet.
The community showed up in droves for the renaming of the square to honor civil rights activist, World War II vet and Nyack native Hezekiah Easter Jr.
Hezekiah Easter was a hero both on and off the battlefield. His sons say he was a man who dedicated his life to making the world a better place.
"He taught me a lot, I'm really blessed to have a family like that: caring about people, helping others do the best they can and sacrificing to help other people. If it's a little bit of sacrifice, do the best you can," said his son, Gregory Easter.
He grew up in the Nyack school system, where he became fluent in German. This made him indispensable to his unit when he was deployed to Germany during World War II.
He studied music composition at Julliard, where he developed a love for jazz music. But he wasn't just a soldier and a musician, he was a political pioneer- becoming the first Black elected official in Rockland County and the first Black police commissioner, as well as deputy mayor and trustee.
A fierce defender of African American history, he is singlehandedly responsible for the preservation of Mt. Moor Cemetery, home to the graves of hundreds of Black people who were not allowed to be buried anywhere else. Its designation as a historic landmark is also because of Easter, who became the last person to be buried there upon his death in 2007.


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