New York National Guard honors President Martin Van Buren today, Sunday, Dec. 5 in Kinderhook

Brig. Gen. Isabel Rivera Smith presents wreath from President Joe Biden at Van Buren's grave at 11 a.m.

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Brig. Gen. Michael Bank and Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Trottier salute the resting place of former President Martin Van Buren after placing a presidential wreath on Dec. 5, 2020.

KINDERHOOK, NEW YORK (12/05/2021) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard Brigadier Isabel Rivera Smith, the Director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard, will mark the 239th birthday of President Martin Van Buren by laying a wreath sent by President Joe Biden, at Van Buren's grave site in Kinderhook this morning on Sunday, Dec.5 at 11 a.m.

The event is part of an annual ceremony recognizing the eighth president of the United States which includes the National Park Service, town and village officials and the Friends of Lindenwald, the group which supports the National Historic Site.

WHO: Brig. Gen. Isabel Rivera Smith, the New York National Guard director of joint staff, and New York Army National Guard Command Sgt. Major David Piwowarski, and a New York Army National Guard Color Guard.

WHAT: Annual recognition of former President Martin Van Buren, a Columbia County native who died on July 24, 1862 in Kinderhook, N.Y. He was born on Dec. 5, 1782. Smith present a wreath sent by President Joe Biden Traditionally a wreath from the sitting president is laid at the graves of former presidents on their birthdays by military officers.

WHEN: 11 a. m Sunday, Dec. 5.

WHERE: Kinderhook Cemetery, County Route 21, Kinderhook New York.

Coverage Opportunities:

Images of the wreath laying ceremony, the military color guard, and troops in formation. There will be opportunities to interview ceremony participants.


The United States military honors former presidents by laying wreaths presented by the current president at their gravesites on the anniversary of their birth. The New York Army and Air National Guard headquarters traditionally conduct the wreath presentations at the graves of President Chester A. Arthur in Menands, and President Martin Van Buren in Kinderhook. The New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls honors President Millard Fillmore.