Harte Island Project New York

LCMS’ recording of David Lang’s just after song of songs used on the Harte Island Website.
The Hart Island Project New York provides access to information about the burials on Hart Island and tools for storytelling so that no one is omitted from history.

Few visitors to New York are aware that a wooded island off the coast of the Bronx is home to one of the world’s largest burial grounds. Since 1869 over 850,000 corpses have been buried on Hart Island, yet the site – which is run by the Department of Correction and dug by prison inmates – is shrouded in so much secrecy that even relatives of the dead are denied the right to visit the graves.

Many of the dead buried on the island were homeless, destitute or never claimed by friends or relatives. However, an unknown number of corpses – including many stillborn babies – are interred there against the wishes of family members who are only allowed access to a memorial Gazebo erected nearby the graves.

Melinda Hunt, founder of the Hart Island Project, an organization which advocates for relatives seeking access to the graves argues that New York City Council should transfer control of the Island from the Department of Correction to the Department of Parks.

‘They’re really the wrong city agency to be managing visitation. They view it as a threat to the sense of total control that they feel they need over the prison system,’ she says. read more here