J.N. Tucker Rededication Ceremony, May 27
J.N. Tucker Memorial Cemetery, also known as Shady Oaks Cemetery, is an African-American owned cemetery that was established in 1912. It is located at 2701 North Harbor City Boulevard in Melbourne, Florida. This cemetery is the final resting place for 31 Veterans and 261 non-Veterans, all from the African-American community. Some of the departed are among the original settlers of Eau Gallie. Over the years, this historic cemetery became neglected and in a state of disrepair. In December of 2018, Michael Cheek, an Army Veteran and Melbourne resident, stopped by the cemetery and was appalled at its condition. With the help of his wife, Ardell, his best friend, Bruce Rothschild, and Bruce’s wife, Joy, they formed a team of over 100 volunteers to start cleaning up this historic cemetery. Most of the funds required for the initial clean-up efforts were paid for by Bruce and Michael with the help of a GoFundMe account. As of March 2019, a 501C3 called Veteran Cemetery Restorations, Inc. has been established to pay for expenses associated with the continued restoration and maintenance of this cemetery. As a result of the hard work and dedication of these remarkable volunteers, the J.N. Tucker Memorial Cemetery is now a beautiful resting place for those African-American Veterans and non-Veterans buried there. On Memorial Day 27 May 2019 at 1:00 PM, there will be a rededication ceremony held for the cemetery, as well as recognition of the 31 Veterans that are buried there.
Sequence of Events for the J.N. Tucker Rededication Ceremony:
1:00 – 1:02: Welcoming Remarks by Master of Ceremony LTC (Ret) Tim Thomas
1:03 – 1:06: Presentation of Colors (Viera HS Color Guard) and National Anthem
1:07 – 1:08: Invocation provided by Rev. Lorenzo Laws, Pastor of Greater Allen Chapel AME
1:09 – 1:12: Remarks provided by City of Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan
1:13 – 1:16: Remarks provided by Attorney Kendall Moore
1:17 – 1:20: Remarks provided by Congressman Bill Posey’s Director of Community and Military Relations Rob Medina
1:21 – 1:23: Reading of the names of Veterans buried at J.N. Tucker Cemetery by Mr. Leonard Ross and Attorney Andrea Fant
1:24 – 1:25: Playing of Taps and Bag Pipes
1:26 – 1:27: Benediction by Rev. Julius Demps, Pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church
In case of inclement weather, we will meet at Greater Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church located at 2416 Lipscomb Street Melbourne, Florida 32901 at 1:00PM.
For more information, please contact Bruce Rothschild at 321-514-9874.