“No Longer Anonymous: Gravedigger Gets His Due at a Psychiatric Hospital”

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This December 22, 2014 New York Times article talks about the ongoing passionate debate over whether or not a patient who died at the now closed Willard State Hospital in New York state that had served as the gravedigger for the hospital  and hand dug over 1,500 graves for fellow patients who also died there.  A group has wanted to place a plaque to honor Mr. Mocha for his work and give him at least a little more dignity and respect than what they felt a plaque with a number on it offered.  The state of New York finally allowed the new plaque honoring him to be placed after a living relative was found and allowed to read over the news articles about their deceased relative.  The article indicates that this doesn’t mean that there has been a change in policy, and says that to do more, for those buried with numbers for grave markers, a change in law would be needed.  The article details the issue more than I have here, but I feel that this is a small yet significant victory for the group who wanted to honor Mr. Mocha for his work as an unpaid gravedigger for Willard State Hospital.

Seal of New York.

Seal of New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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