Flags were carried by soldiers in the Navy, Marines and Army, who were led by a drummer from the entrance of the cemetery up Battle Hill to the spot where the 10 men are now buried. After the precession ended, a trumpeter played the national anthem and cemetery historian Jeff Richman followed with a brief history lesson about the men and how they got back to Brooklyn.
According to Richman, four of the soldiers were killed in Mexico where they were buried. Lieutenant Alexander Forbes went to Mexico to bring the remains of the fallen soldiers back to New York.
However, Forbes became sick with a fever and died while in New Orleans on his way back up the East Coast with the coffins. From there, Lieutenant Robert Floyd transported the bodies of the four soldiers, as well as that as Forbes, on a steamship back to New York.
The ceremony concluded when new plaques with the names of the men were unveiled.
The event was spearheaded by Bill Asley, whose great-grandfather served in the Mexican-American War with some of the men who were being honored. After the ceremony, he told reporters he wanted to do something because the cemetery “buried them here with no recognition.”
“We are humbled and honored today to give these courageous men a long overdue memorial,” said Richard Moylan, the cemetery's president
According to Moylan, in 1848 the soldiers were given an elaborate funeral and were even honored at City Hall, but “what we had here in this lot was the base for a monument that was never commissioned.”
The monument was supposed to be erected at the gravesite, but plans fell through. Instead, the soldiers were buried in a plot marked by a garnet marker with the word “Mexico” and wooden plaques displaying their names. Over the course of the past century the wooden markers deteriorated, but have now been replaced by bronze plaques.
“We're proud and honored to honor these men for their service and sacrifice today,” said Richman.