In its 170+ years, Forest Lawn Cemetery has become an enduring chronicle of local history and a cultural landmark to local accomplishment. Considering the impact of these accomplishments on America and the world, the cemetery is a national asset and fully deserves its designation in the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Today, there are more than 3,500 trees in Forest Lawn, representing 100 different species and varieties and making the cemetery an important arboretum.
Over 240 kinds of birds have been spotted in Forest Lawn. They are encouraged to be year-round residents by no-rent housing provided in the countless birdhouses placed throughout the cemetery.
Cemeteries provide the ultimate statement of our civilization. They display our respect for history and how we honor our forefathers. They recognize accomplishment. They indicate our moral and ethical standards and our religious beliefs. They speak of love all-encompassing and eternal. Forest Lawn Cemetery amply demonstrates all of these qualities. If the measure of the civility of a society is in how it treats its dead, then Buffalo is very civilized indeed.
Today, The Forest Lawn Group includes cemeteries in Buffalo, Hamburg, Lancaster, Williamsville and West Seneca. Lakeside Cemetery in Hamburg (south of Buffalo) is a lovely cemetery and also a home for several forms of wildlife. Williamsville Cemetery’s eight acres also represents the rich history of the Village of Williamsville in the Town of Amherst. Also, in the Town of Amherst is Gethsemane Cemetery. Since its dedication in the early 1900’s, this beautiful, quiet, serene place had been a private cemetery, exclusively for burial of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, but in 2018, the Sisters entrusted ownership of Gethsemane to the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Crematory Group. St. Matthew’s Cemetery showcases the beauty, heritage and tradition of West Seneca. the newest addition to the Forest Lawn Group is Lancaster Rural Cemetery, the town’s oldest cemetery, located at the northwest corner of Cemetery Road and Broadway.